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 7, 2017

Will to win pushes Chandler hoops past XCP

Year-in, year-out, it seems as if Chandler High produces one of the most successful girls’ basketball programs in the state.
The Wolves are well-coached, fundamentally sound, hustle on defense and rarely lose the hunger to win.
That creates consistency.
It was all on display on Friday night (Jan. 6), as Chandler defeated Xavier Prep’s Gators 50-44 in a 6A Conference Premier Region game at Xavier’s Activity Center.
Xavier fell to 14-2 overall and 2-1 in region play while Chandler improved to 10-5 and 2-1.
One key sequence for Chandler came in the closing minutes of the first half. The Wolves outscored Xavier 8-0 over the final 3:13 for a two-point halftime lead.
Another Chandler outburst of a similar nature occurred at the end of the third quarter when the Wolves broke a tie and scored 10 straight points over the final 3:32 of the period for a 37-27 lead entering the fourth.
Xavier attempted to rally in the fourth, moving to within three on four occasions, but was unable to pull even or take the lead.
The Gators had three double-figure scorers – Montana Oltrogge (12 points), Leilani McIntosh (12) and Paris Moore (10).
Jaidyn Snitker scored 11 points to lead Chandler and Imani Hamilton scored 10.
Xavier has another home game on Tuesday (Jan. 10) against Chandler Hamilton, also among the state’s top teams.

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