Pueblo’s Santiago hits game-winner against Sahuaro; Hill eclipses 1,000 career points

Pueblo’s Isiah Hill surrounded by family after surpassing 1,000 points in his career (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

The court resembled Thursday night’s stage, with only one side of the bleachers lowered so fans could sit in Pueblo’s Lafayette Lever Gym.

Pueblo’s headliner in the spotlight Isaiah Hill The Warriors won 47-46 by 32 points from the junior guard in an epic 4A Keno matchup against Saguaro.

It took just one basket to cross 1,000 career points, and Hill did it in just 27 seconds on the and-one.

This is the big game. 1,000 points didn’t really bother me,’ said Hill, who reached the milestone in 64 games. will say, ‘I’ll do it’.”

5th in the state Open Division and 2nd in 4A, the Saguaro team was looking to take a commanding lead over top challenger Pueblo in 4A Keno.

The Cougars beat the visiting Warriors 62-50 a week ago.

Sahuaro is currently 17-3 overall and 4-1 in regionals. Pueblo he is 17-6, 4-1.

Each team has three region games left.

“Here in Tucson and around the state, nobody really talks about us,” the Pueblo coach said. Darryl Jonesthat team was off the 32-team open division field before the game. is not one player, we are a real team.

“There was a man who was a seventh or eighth man who made the game winner.”

Carlos SantiagoSenior Forward played the role of a supporting cast member in the climax.

With eight lead changes and six ties in a game in which neither team had a double-digit lead, Pueblo trailed 46–45 with 35.1 seconds left in Saguaro. Eric Delgadillo Scored two free throws.

The general idea at Lever Gym was for Hill to take a go-ahead shot before the 30-second shot clock ran out.

Hill broke into the lane and pulled four defenders before forcing them out to the freshman guard. Anthony Carranza, that 3-point attempt was off. Santiago grabbed the rebound and his shot was short. Hill managed to get the ball off the rim. Santiago grabbed the rebound and scored with 8.8 seconds remaining.

“Carlos Santiago — one of the best athletes in the city — has gone strong,” said Jones. “We always say to our players, ‘Be ready and be ready.’ He hasn’t played much but he was ready today. He played a lot of time and hit the winner of the game, which is worth noting.

“It was a good win for him.

Pueblo had fouls and used two of them, so Saguaro started the final inbounds play with 3.5 seconds remaining.

Nick PonsA proven clutch player, took the inbounds pass and broke into the lane. His running one hand came off the back of the rim as time expired.

Former competitor Hill was not happy with the win.

“Just because you won this game, don’t think that’s where you need to be,” Hill said. “We can always get better.

Hill said he was “more a football player than a basketball player” in his freshman year, and had well over 1,000 career points in just three years.

“I fell in love with basketball,” he said. “It can be polished. The reward for the effort is a big part of it. I’m proud of it.”

He said he will have to decide this summer whether he will play quarterback in his senior season as a Pueblo football coach. Jake Allen.

First and foremost, finish this basketball season on the best stage. That means qualifying for the Open Division Playoffs or qualifying for the 4A State Tournament.

“I don’t care who I play,” Jones said. “I, the coaching staff and the players want to play our best and see what we can do.”

Sahuaro will travel to the Sierra Vista on Friday for an out-of-region match against Buena.

Pueblo’s next game is Tuesday at regional foe CDO.

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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club awardee. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beats his reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won his 1996–97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for many publications including CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America. He has also authored a book called “The Highest Form of Living” available on Amazon. He became an educator five years before he was born and is currently a special education teacher at the Gallego Fine Arts Intermediate in the Sunnyside Unified School District.

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