TUCSON, AZ - The No. 1 seeded Pima Aztecs defeated No. 2 Mesa 80-58 Saturday to claim a fifth NJCAA Region I, Division II championship.
This was the 10th meeting in 11 years between the two programs in the region finals. The home team has won each meeting. The Thunderbirds had won the previous two titles.
Pima (21-11) is back in the National Tournament for the first time since 2016.
Sophomore Jacqulynn Nakai (Coconino HS) took over scoring 22 of her 30 points in the second half and was named the regional tournament’s Most Valuable Player.
Sophomore RyLeigh Long hit some huge three-pointers as she finished with 13 points. Freshman Alyssa Perez (Marana HS) scored 12 points.
The Aztecs headed to Nationals having won seven of their last eight games.
The women’s basketball NJCAA Division II Tournament will be in Harrison, AK on Mar. 19-23.
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David Kelly contributed to this story.