Jackson Shaw
ASU Student Journalist

Perry, Basha teams to watch this summer

June 1, 2024 by Jackson Shaw, Arizona State University

Perry High defeated Basha in the GCU Women's Basketball Team Camp semifinal Saturday morning. (Jackson Shaw/azpreps365)

The Perry High Pumas girls basketball team is off to a hot start this summer and looking forward to next season.

They faced off against the Basha Bears in the Grand Canyon University Women’s Basketball Team Camp Saturday morning, a semifinal matchup of their 16-team bracket, where Perry was seeded No. 1 and Basha No. 12.

The Pumas are coming off a trip to the 6A state championship, where they ultimately fell to Sandra Day O’Connor as the No. 8 seed in the tournament. The expectations were high heading into the summer for Perry and so far has not disappointed.

Perry took down Basha 40-32 to advance to the Purple Bracket final, where it faced Dream City Christian.

“We’re not really doing anything too crazy," Perry head coach Andrew Curtis said about the team's mindset this summer. "Just trying to focus on our culture and playing together.”

Last season, Basha sat at the bottom of the 6A Premier Region.

It finished the season with a 10-17 overall record, but you couldn’t tell from its performance in this tournament. The No. 12 seeded Bears defeated No. 5 Flowing Wells and No. 4 Seton Catholic to get to the semifinal game.

After missing the state tournament earlier this year, head coach Chiniqua Bright and the rest of the Bears are dedicated to making noise this summer.

“They want to earn respect from the East Valley,” Bright said. “Everybody is always talking about Perry and Hamilton and we’re just trying to get Basha on the map.”

Despite the 9 a.m. tip, the Bears emerged with their paws up to start this game, bursting with energy and holding the lead through the majority of the first half.

“I’m looking forward to seeing their development and them grow as basketball players,” Bright said, looking ahead to the rest of the summer. “I’ve had a lot of them on the same team since freshmen and now they’re juniors. Just seeing them develop and come out there and compete and kind of shock the world a little bit.”

It wasn’t until the Pumas implemented their full-court press that they started to rattle the scrappy Bears.



The Perry defense only allowed six points in the second half and their shooters got hot, with a few from beyond the arc, to close out this game.

“They’re all basketball junkies and love to work hard. It’s just going to come down to sticking to our culture and doing what we gotta do,” Curtis said.

Perry finished off the GCU Camp with a first-place victory over DCC and aims to continue its success through the summer and into next season.