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, November 27, 2016

Gators win hoops tourney, move to 5-0

Xavier Prep’s basketball team met its match and then some in Saturday’s (Nov. 26) championship game of the Scorpion Shootout at Goodyear Desert Edge.
The Tucson High Badgers stayed with the Gators step for step and even exceeded the Gators’ hustle for much of the game.
But Xavier refused to fold and stepped up when it counted. The Gators overcame a key injury to guard Paris Moore and outscored Tucson 13-4 in the fourth quarter to pick up their second straight Shootout title with a 54-44 triumph.
Sophomore point guard Leilani McIntosh took tournament MVP honors and junior forward Katie Hassett was named to the all-tournament team.
Xavier (5-0) won four games in the tournament, including the title game and a 46-28 victory over Desert Edge in the semifinals earlier on Saturday.
The Gators will play host to Phoenix Mountain Pointe in their next game on Tuesday (Nov. 29) and hope the momentum from the tournament will carry over.
“When you lose a player, you need other players to step up and that’s what we did. That’s what you want going into a game like Mountain Pointe,’’ said Xavier coach Stephen Moss.
Moore, a sophomore, fell hard to the floor when fouled by a Tucson player on the way to the basket with 2:29 left in the third quarter. Moore stayed on the floor under the basket for a few minutes and was helped to the bench with what appeared to be an injury to her left shoulder. Her shoulder was wrapped with an ice bag after the game, and her status will continue to be evaluated.
It would take a mathematician to figure out how many times that Moore and McIntosh get knocked down in the course of a game. McIntosh appeared to be sore and exhausted after leading the team with 19 points.
Xavier led 41-40 going into the fourth quarter. McIntosh started it off by hitting her second 3-pointer of the game and sophomore Addison Putnam scored seven of her nine points down the stretch, including a pair of 3-pointers.
“Addison did a good job for us. She really stepped up when we needed her,’’ Moss said.
Junior forward Montana Oltrogge also had a strong game, particularly defensively in the fourth quarter to help put a lid on any Tucson uprising. Oltrogge scored eight points for the game and Moss said he thought she also should have been named to the all-tournament team.

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