Lady Miners set for rubber match in sectional tournament

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By Andrew Luberda

San Manuel Miner

The second-seeded Miners girls’ basketball team played third-seeded Immaculate Heart in the first round of the Sectional Tournament yesterday Feb. 11, 2014, at Vista Grande High School. It was the third meeting of the year between the teams. They’re 1 – 1 in their previous matchups.

San Manuel won the first meeting of the year during a holiday tournament in Jan. 27 – 24. The Knights were able to avenge that loss in the most recent game played last week in Tucson. The Knights prevailed in another close game, 38 – 37. Foul trouble throughout for the Miners was the difference in the game.

“What hurt us the most was foul trouble,” Miners’ head coach Dave Jungbluth said. “Immaculate heart was in the one and one early into the 2nd period in the first half due to careless fouls.”

Leading scorer Angelica Zuniga was held to only 7 points, mostly because of being out of the game with too many fouls. She sat out most of the second period. Analisa Robles scored a personal season-high 15 points.

“As poorly as we played we still had the last shot to win the game,” Jungbluth said. “Unfortunately we missed the shot.”

Jungbluth added that the Miners had a difficult time with the Knights’ press in last week’s game. They’ll need to improve in that area to be successful in the tournament. Jungbluth anticipates another close game.

“If we can handle their pressure, I like our chances,” he said.

A win on Tuesday assures the Miners a spot in the Sectional Championship on Feb. 14 at Vista Grande High School. The championship game will tipoff at 5 p.m.

If the Miners can win both sectional tournament games, they’ll earn an automatic bid to the state tournament in addition to a first-round bye. Win or lose, the Miners are almost certain to be included in the state tournament field of 24 teams. They’re currently ranked 14th in the most recent AIA rankings. The top 24 make the state tournament.

The scores for the Feb. 11 game were unavailable at press time. Check out the latest scores at

Andy Luberda (524 Posts)

Andy Luberda began writing for Copper Area News Publishers (CANP) in February 2013 after working15 years in Healthcare Financial Management. Andy covers sports for eight high schools. His stories are published in the Southeast Valley Ledger, Copper Basin News, San Manuel Miner and Superior Sun. Additionally, he has written human interest stories and business profiles. In May 2012, he earned an AAS in Sports Management at Central Arizona College. Andy is currently earning a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from ASU’s Hugh Downs School of Communication. Andy is scheduled to complete his degree December 2014. He was born and raised in Des Plaines, Ill. In 1992, he relocated to Arizona. After a short return to Des Plaines in 1997, he returned to the Phoenix area two years later. He and his wife, Kelli, have three sons – AJ, Kyle, and Kade.

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