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.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Good start for XCP hoops, finish not so much

Xavier Prep’s basketball team walked into its Nike Tournament of Champions game on Saturday (Dec. 19) and jumped to a 10-0 lead over Huntington Beach, Calif.
The Gators went on to another easy victory, right?
Not really. From that point on, everything that could go wrong for the team did at Gilbert Campo Verde High.
They lost their shooting touch. Their passes went into the hands of the opponent as much or more than they did their own. Huntington Beach was more aggressive on the boards and played with a much more physical approach.
It all added up to a 58-40 victory for Huntington Beach, and dropped the Gators (9-2) into the loser’s bracket of the Gold Division.
Xavier’s next game is Monday (Dec. 21) at 1 p.m. against Cherry Creek (Colo). The game will be played at the Kroc Center in Phoenix, 13th Street and Broadway Road. Xavier would play again on Tuesday (Dec. 22) at 10 a.m. or 11:30 a.m. at Kroc.
Xavier was outscored 19-10 in the second quarter and 14-6 in the third.
Sophomore Alana Kelley scored 12 points to lead the Gators. Senior Vanessa Murphy scored 10, but all of those were in the first half. She spent most of the second half frustrated by foul trouble.
Xavier opened the tournament on Friday (Dec. 18) with a 67-32 win over Windsor, Calif.

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