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.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Gator hoops falls behind early, can't catch up

There are times when it is easier for a basketball team to forget a lopsided loss than a close defeat in the last few minutes.
No could haves, should haves or would haves. Just hit the delete button and move on.
That is what Xavier Prep’s Gators need to do after a 64-39 setback to host Chandler High on Friday night (Jan. 27).
Simply put, the Gators (18-5) never were in this one.
Chandler (17-6) led by six at the end of the first quarter, by twice that many at halftime and pulled away in the second half. The Wolves swept the two-game 6A Conference Premier Region series.
The Gators continue to miss three of their top players who are injured – forwards Alana Kelley and Montana Oltrogge and guard Brittany Robinson. Junior forward Katie Hassett gave a good effort with her rebounding, but she can only do so much – she needs help.
Sophomore guard Leilani McIntosh led the Gators with nine points, while Hassett and sophomore guard Paris Moore each had six.
Xavier will play its final road game of the regular season on Tuesday (Jan. 31) against region foe Chandler Hamilton, which defeated the Gators in their first meeting. Xavier’s final two games are at home, against Phoenix Pinnacle on Feb. 3 and Phoenix St. Mary’s on Feb. 7.

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