DON KETCHUM is a native of Phoenix. He was a sportswriter for The Arizona Republic/The Phoenix Gazette for nearly four decades. He covered high school sports on several occasions as well as the Arizona Diamondbacks, Arizona Cardinals and Arizona State sports. From 2008-14, he was a staff writer for, the web site of the Arizona Interscholastic Association.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Gators fall to Dobson, playoff hopes fade

The gymnasium lights have dimmed on the 2014-15 basketball regular season, and now Xavier’s Gators must wait to see if their season continues.
Xavier (10-16 overall, 5-4 in Division I, Section III play) did not qualify for one of its section’s four spots in next week’s cross-sectional tournament against Section I. The Gators fell in their regular-season finale at Mesa Dobson 60-33 on Friday night (Feb. 6).
The team’s remaining hopes hinge on whether it has earned enough power points to qualify for the D-I state tournament, which begins Feb. 18. The top 24 teams qualify, and the Gators were No. 26 entering Friday’s play.
State-tournament brackets will be announced Feb. 15.
If Xavier is not one of the top 24 teams, its season will be over.
In the finale against Dobson, the Gators made a game of it in the early going but faded as No. 2-seeded Dobson won going away.
Xavier trailed 28-15 at halftime against Dobson, but fell apart in the third quarter as Dobson’s full-court press caused too many turnovers by the Gators. The Mustangs simply were too athletic and had too much depth. Xavier’s top player, junior Vanessa Murphy, picked up her fourth foul of the game less than a minute into the third, and was on the bench for most of the quarter.
Murphy still managed to lead Xavier with 11 points, including a pair of 3-pointers. Cydeni Carter scored 7 and Alana Kelley scored 6.

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