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.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Badminton turns it around after tough loss

After absorbing a tough 6-3 loss to top-rated Gilbert Perry on Tuesday (Oct. 3), Xavier Prep’s badminton team rebounded nicely with a 9-0 triumph over host Chandler Basha in the Gators’ regular-season finale on Thursday (Oct. 5).

Xavier finished the regular season at 12-2 and now will wait until Oct. 20, when the Division I state tournament for singles and doubles players begins. The team portion of the state tournament will begin Oct. 23.

“The match against Perry was tough on so many levels. It was a difficult match, both physically and mentally,’’ said Xavier coach Sue Contreras, whose team defeated Perry a year ago to win its fourth straight state title.

“We expended a lot of energy against Perry, but we came back today and battled through.’’

The Gators will focus initially on the singles and doubles play, but it is the team aspect that will draw the most attention in the coming weeks.

“We want to be prepared for the tournament and we want to finish strong as a team,’’ Contreras said.

Xavier did not lose a game against Basha and seniors Maddie Reinhart and Alexa Wolfson led the way with victories in singles and a triumph in doubles.

Xavier vs. Chandler Basha


Maddie Reinhart def. Basha, 11-1, 11-9.

Alexa Wolfson def. Basha, 11-9, 11-7.

Mimi Zurbriggen def. Basha, 11-7, 11-9.

Misaal Irfan def. Basha, 11-5, 11-3.

Maeve Lee def. Basha, 11-4, 11-3.

Anai Hernandez def. Basha, 11-1, 11-1.


Reinhart-Wolfson def. Basha, 15-10, 15-11.

Zurbriggen-Rebecca Ryan def. Basha, 15-10, 15-8.

Hernandez-Maddie Dines def. Basha, 15-4, 15-8.

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