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, January 21, 2017

Gator bucket brigade reigns on rainy night

We don’t want to say it was raining a lot at Anthem Boulder Creek on Friday night (Jan. 20), but we did notice an ark taking up a couple of spaces in the parking lot and a guy who resembled Noah pacing back and forth in the gymnasium lobby.
Meanwhile, Xavier Prep’s Gators kept their grip on the ball and rained on the host Jaguars for seven 3-pointers on the way to a 50-33 victory.
Xavier did so despite missing three key players due to injuries or surgery – junior forwards Alana Kelley and Montana Oltrogge and senior guard Brittany Robinson. Gators coach Stephen Moss brought up a few players from the junior varsity to help with roster depth and that scenario likely will be repeated over the last few weeks of the regular season.
“It’s “next girl up’ for us,’’ Moss said. “Those kids from the JV had not played a varsity minute, but we were able to give them a taste of what it was like tonight.’’
Next on the Gators’ agenda is a home game against Chandler Basha on Tuesday (Jan. 24) at 7 p.m.
Sophomore point guard Leilani McIntosh got the Gators (17-4) off and running by scoring nine of her game-high 20 points in the first quarter (a 14-9 Xavier lead).
McIntosh hit a pair of 3-pointers, as did junior Payton Davis and sophomore Addison Putnam. Sophomore guard Paris Moore had the other trey.
Moore’s super shot from near the top of the key gave Xavier a 50-29 lead, and Boulder Creek (10-11) wrapped things up with a basket and a pair of free throws.
“ “Lei’ and Paris are going to have to pick it up both offensively and defensively and “Addie’ has been giving us some good minutes and close to 10 points a game, so we will need to get more of that from her,’’ Moss said.

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