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.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Gators prevail in home basketball finale

Xavier Prep basketball coach Stephen Moss keeps saying that he wants his team to be playing near its best level down the stretch and into the Division I state tournament.
The Gators are doing just that.
In their final home game of the regular season, they matched up with Scottsdale Chaparral on Tuesday night (Feb. 2).
Chaparral took the lead in the first quarter, but Xavier inched in front by two at the half. The game then went back and forth before the Gators came away with a 54-49 victory.
With the win, the Gators (17-8) moved up from eighth to seventh in the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s power rankings, just one spot behind Chaparral (17-7).
Xavier finishes its regular season with a game on Feb. 9 at Mesa Dobson. The state tournament first-round pairings are expected to be announced either Feb. 12 or 13.
Sophomore forward Alana Kelley had a big game against Chaparral with 21 points and 11 rebounds. She made eight of 11 field-goal attempts, including a three-pointer. Freshman guard Leilani McIntosh scored 12, including a three-pointer.

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