Originally published Thursday, February 8, 2018 at 06:00a.m.

KINGMAN – At the start of the year, the Lee Williams High School girls basketball team had a simple, but important goal – make the 4A State Tournament. The Lady Vols accomplished that Wednesday when it was announced they would travel to No. 13 ranked Cactus Shadows today for a 6:30 p.m. play-in game.

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The No. 19 ranked Lady Vols (9-8, 6-6 4A Grand Canyon Region) play 13th-ranked Cactus Shadows (10-8, 1-7 4A Skyline Region) at 6:30 p.m. today.

“We reached our goal – I consider the play-in game part of the state tournament,” said Lee Williams head coach Jerry Arave. “Others may not, but I think it is part of the state tournament because there are 20 teams behind us that aren’t playing anymore. We’re excited.”

The No. 19 ranked Lady Vols (9-8, 6-6 4A Grand Canyon Region) still have their work cut out for them as they’ll face a Lady Falcons squad that beat them 45-17 on Nov. 29.

However, Arave is well aware of the reason why Lee Williams suffered that setback.

“We lost to Cactus Shadows because we turned the ball over a 1,000 times,” he said. “Our offense is a little bit better when teams press us. The press doesn’t hurt us and Cactus Shadows presses. We’ll be able to break their press, we just have to find a way to score some points.”

Cactus Shadows (10-8, 1-7 4A Skyline Region) started the season on the right track by winning eight straight games, but have lost eight of its last 10 games to finish fourth in the standings.

The Lady Vols are aware of that and consider it a great accomplishment to make the postseason.

“We’re happy that we’re in,” Arave said. “… I called my daughter and texted a couple of the girls – they’re pretty excited about playing.”