Chandler High played the game it wanted against St. Mary\'s for the first 15 minutes of the 5A-I girls basketball championship game on Friday. It was that last minute of the half that was ugly and esentially ended the Wolves hope of claiming the title St.. Mary\'s used an 9-0 run to end the first half and that opened the gates to a 73-60 win over Chandler at Arena.

Talk about a battle for your first boys basketball title in school history. Chaparral and Betty H. Fairfax was just that Friday afternoon as Chaparral nearly four decades old and Fairfax four-years-old duked it out at Arena. Pierre Newton made free throws and reserve Jovan Wright several clutch 3s in regularion and overtimes as Betty Fairfax dealt Chaparral a second straight gut-wrenching 5A-II state title defeat, 65-60, in double overtime.

Pinnacle was determined to put the clamps on Tolleson guard Syerra Davis on Friday in the 5A-II girls basketball championship game. The Pioneers hounded Davis one-on-one and did a fine job on the Wolverines leading scorer, who had scored 49 points in two previous meetings this season. The solution was for other Tolleson players to step up. That they did.

Mountain View remembered how it played in the first half against Buena in December when it bolted to a 19-point advantage at intermission. Buena was hoping the Toros did not. Fourth-seed Mountain View used an 18-2 edge in the opening period Thursday night to put the top-seed Colts on their heels and went on to post a 67-39 victory in the 5A-I boys basketball semifinals at Arena.

Defense put Gilbert High in a hole Tuesday, but courageous base running and offense dug the Tigers out of that trench and on to an eighth consecutive victory. Cassie Vela stole home on a delayed steal to plate the tie-breaking run and Elysia Mesa ripped a two-run double for insurance a bit later as Gilbert defeated Desert Ridge, 7-4, in a 5A-I non-region softball game at Gilbert. It was the first power-point game of the season for both schools.

Mountain View boys basketball coach Gary Ernst reminded his players at halftime of their quarterfinal matchup with Corona del Sol on Saturday night the importance of what was coming up. A halftime talk he has made many a time. \\\"I told them the first five minutes of the third quarter in a game like this is critical,\\\" Ernst said.

It speaks volumes of a team when its leading scorer averaging a tad under 20 points a game scores just three points and his team still wins the state championship handily. That team Saturday afternoon was 2010 4A-II bridesmaid Amphitheater. The Panthers capped a brilliant 29-2 campaign with a more than decisive 87-77 boys basketball victory over Tempe High at Arena.

The defining moment for Seton Catholic Saturday morning came in the final 10 seconds of the first half of its 4A-II girls championship game against Thunderbird. Thunderbird hoisted up a shot from half court that caromed off the backboard. Noone blocked out the shooter, Shelbie Hess, and she snuck through the lane and scored as the half ended giving the Chiefs a 27-26 lead at halftime. That was an attention getter. No. 2 Seton stormed out in the third quarter, regained command and finally wore down No. 5 Thunderbird in the final period to notch a 61-49 victory and win its second straight state title at Arena.