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, February 4, 2017

Gators regain confidence with hoops victory

After a rough 7 days in which they lost road games to Chandler High and Chandler Hamilton, Xavier Prep’s Gators needed something to help them regain a bit of confidence on the basketball floor.
They got it with a solid all-around performance in a 54-35 victory over visiting Phoenix Pinnacle on Friday night (Feb. 3).
Within one win of the 20-victory level, the Gators (19-6) can reach that if they can defeat Catholic rival Phoenix St. Mary’s in Xavier’s regular-season home finale on Tuesday (Feb. 7).
Xavier held Pinnacle to a combined 10 points in the second and the third quarters. With a 30-point lead entering the fourth, the teams played under a running clock. Xavier scored its only points of the period at the final buzzer and was outscored 13-2, but the contest had long been decided.
Xavier got more scoring balance than in recent games, as eight players put points on the board.
Junior guard Payton Davis and sophomore guard Leilani McIntosh each scored 10 points. Both players connected for a pair of 3-point baskets. Junior forward Montana Oltrogge was next line with 9 points and sophomore guard Paris Moore had 8.
After the St. Mary’s game, Xavier will await the results from the Arizona Interscholastic Association on bracketing for the 6A Conference state tournament. The Gators have been in the top 10 most of the season.

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