GIRLS HOOPS: Ironwood Ridge beats Nogales for a 9-1 start

With Sahauro gone to Conference 4A, the Nighthawks are the favorites in the 5A Southern section

HOOPS: Ironwood Ridge 63, Nogales 41 (girls)

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Ironwood Ridge is off and running to start the 2018-19 high school girls basketball season.

The Nighthawks raced out to a 10-0 lead on visiting Nogales Friday night and won for the 9th time this season (9-1, 1-0), 63-41 over the Apaches in the 5A Southern section opener for both teams.

It was the fifth straight victory for IRHS. Their lone loss this season was a 17-point setback to Tucson on November 27.

The Nighthawks are in their 3rd season under Ken Leikem, the longtime coach at Flowing Wells.

Senior point guard Caroline Finster and junior forward Bella Hamel lead the Nighthawks in scoring at 13 and 11 points a game respectively.

Ironwood Ridge looks to be the favorite in a 5A Southern section that no longer includes Sahuaro.

The Nighthawks have made the state tournament the last five seasons.

The Apaches (5-5, 0-1) are also in their third season under the direction of Yahaira Sanchez.

Nogales qualified for the post-season in Conference 4A last season as the 15th seed.

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