Bio

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 AIA365.com, the web site of the Arizona Interscholastic Association.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

XCP hoops drops close one to Desert Vista



Sooner or later, it was bound to happen.
Xavier Prep’s basketball team would have to play a team with similar talent, drive, athleticism and quickness.
That time came on Wednesday night (Dec. 9) when the Gators played host to Phoenix Desert Vista.
Desert Vista, a Division I semifinalist last season, led by 10 points in the first quarter, using a relentless pressure defense.
Xavier, which was 7-0 entering the contest, finally adjusted to the pace of the game and came back to lead by two entering the fourth quarter and by nine with about four minutes left in the game.
Then the walls caved in. Desert Vista went on a 13-2 run the rest of the way, taking the lead with seven seconds left on a short baseline jumper by Takara Wade, and stunned the Gators 56-54.
It signaled a three-game sweep by Desert Vista teams for the day. The freshman team edged XCP in overtime and the junior varsity won handily.
Xavier’s final home game of 2015 comes on Monday (Dec. 14), when Phoenix Sandra Day O’Connor pays a visit. Xavier will play in the three-day Nike Tournament in the east Valley starting Dec. 19.
Xavier, playing its third game in as many nights, used three-pointers by Vanessa Murphy and Paris Moore to help fuel a 14-3 run at the end of the third quarter.
Murphy scored 10 of her game-high 19 points in the fourth quarter, but the Gators could not hold on. Point guard Leilani McIntosh (16 points) scored on a drive with 47 seconds left to make it 54-54, but that was it for XCP.
Desert Vista, meanwhile, was sparked by nine points from Tatum Brimley down the stretch, including a pair of three-pointers.
Only three players other than Murphy and McIntosh scored for Xavier in the game. Guard Addison Putnam scored nine, including a pair of three pointers, while Alana Kelley and Moore each scored five.


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