A fourth-quarter comeback effort fell short for the Snowflake girls basketball team in the Class 3A state final in Mesa against Page.

Page, undefeated this season and the conference’s top seed in the tournament, defeated the second-seeded Lobos 36-32 Saturday in a game The White Mountain Independent followed over the radio broadcast on KNKI-FM.

The Sand Devils, entering the game 17-0 and making their fifth straight appearance in the state finals, held 30-23 lead entering the final quarter. The Lobos, who finished the season 15-2 and had lost a regular-season game to Page, cut the deficit to seven at the third-quarter buzzer when Austin Stratton hit a two-point basket.

Missed field goal attempts and missed free throws from Page largely helped Snowflake outscore the Sand Devils 9-6 in the final period and get as close as three points. Emily Davis scored to make the score 35-32 with about 50 seconds to play. Snowflake’s Macee LeSueur followed with an intentional foul to stop the clock, and Page’s Nadya Begay missed both shots.

The Sand Devils were allowed to retain possession after the intentional foul, and a subsequent foul against Stratton put Begay back at the foul line. She made one of two free throws for a 36-32 advantage, and the game ended when Page forced a jump ball tie-up.

Page had two big runs earlier in the game to create a sizable lead. Snowflake scored the game’s first two baskets for a 4-0 lead and later led 10-5. A 9-0 run from Page, however, put the Sand Devils ahead 14-10 early in the second quarter.

A 10-3 scoring burst covering the first seven minutes of the second half gave Page a 30-21 lead until Stratton hit her shot at the end of the third quarter.

According to the postgame radio report, Page’s Miquedah Tailman led all scorers with 13 points, while Trysten Hancock was Snowflake’s leading scorer with eight.

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