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.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Gator basketball runs and so does the clock

Winning by huge margins can be a good thing, but you don’t necessarily go out and throw caution to the wind just because an opponent is not at your level.

Xavier Prep’s basketball dominated its opponent again on Monday night (Dec. 11), rolling to a 93-21 victory at neighboring Phoenix Central. The Gators climbed to 7-3 overall, and they have used a running clock (no stoppages until the final minute) in five of those games.

It is good for coach Jennifer Gillom to be able to play her whole roster. The games are seeming so easy, but that will end sooner or later with much better competition and the team also must be ready for that.

The Gators should get more of a taste of reality when they visit Gilbert Perry on Friday night (Dec. 15). Perry was 5-3 entering its game at Mesa High on Tuesday night (Dec. 12). After that, Xavier won’t play again until a holiday tournament at Mesa Red Mountain, between Christmas and New Year’s.

Against Central, the Gators once again applied full-court pressure in order to force turnovers that would help them carve out a big lead. Xavier rang up 21 points before the Bobcats were able to score on a free throw with 3:51 left in the first quarter. The Gators led 38-3 at the end of the period.

Gillom played most of her starters until late in the third quarter, and by the time that period ended, Xavier led 89-17.

Xavier had four players score in double figures. They were senior forward Montana Oltrogge (26 points), junior guard Addison Putnam (14), point guard Leilani McIntosh (12) and sophomore forward-guard Elysia Fleetwood (10).

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