On Tuesday night, Feb. 23, the Show Low boys varsity basketball team was dealt a huge blow in its bid to stay in contention for a berth in the state tournament, as the Cougars hosted cross-town rival Blue Ridge.

The Cougars, ranked No. 19 in Tuesday’s rankings by the Arizona Interscholastic Association led for almost the entire game until about three minutes left, when Blue Ridge senior P.J. London drove to the hoop to score and put the Yellowjackets ahead to stay. When a last-second, desperation shot by Show Low sailed past the goal, Blue Ridge prevailed for a 58-56 victory.

Allen Aday led a balanced Blue Ridge scoring attack with 15 points. Show Low’s Cougar Cooke had 22 points in the loss.

Tuesday’s girls varsity matchup between the teams wasn’t as close, as the Show Low girls, ranked No. 9, defeated No. 12 Blue Ridge, 58-44. Following the win, Show Low moved up to No. 7 in Thursday’s rankings.

Laura Ellsowth poured in 20 points to lead the Cougars to victory. The Lady Jackets were led by Valida Carroll and Shantell Suttle with 15 and 13 points, respectively.

Snowflake’s boys and girls teams won 3A East championships by defeating Payson on Tuesday, and the Lobos will receive automatic berths in the state playoffs. The seven region champions in 3A, along with nine at-large teams, qualify for the state tournament, which begins on Tuesday, March 9 (girls) and Wednesday, March 10 (boys).

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