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.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Hassett comes up big as XCP powers past Perry

One of the marks of a good basketball team comes when one of its top players struggles or gets into foul trouble and another player steps in to fill the gap.

That occurred on Tuesday night (Jan. 16), when Xavier Prep faced visiting Gilbert Perry at the Activity Center.

Top scorer Montana Oltrogge was saddled with foul trouble. She had three in the first half and picked up her fourth about halfway through the third quarter. She finished with 11 points.

Fellow senior inside player Katie Hassett had a big first half and continued to raise her level of play in the second half. She scored 12 of her team-high 28 points after the break as the Gators rebounded from a tough loss at Gilbert Mesquite on Jan. 12 for a 79-52 win over Perry.

Xavier raised its overall record to 17-4 and 6A Conference Premier Region mark to 5-0. Perry, which fell to the Gators in an earlier game this season, saw its overall record dip to 8-11.

The Gators had a 26-8 lead after the first quarter and continued to build on that.

After the 65-62 loss at Mesquite, Xavier coach Jennifer Gillom said she wanted to see more balance on offense because only four players scored, and one of those scored a single point.

The balance returned, with eight players putting points on the board. Four were in double figures. Hassett had 28, guard Paris Moore had 12, Oltrogge had 11 and point guard Leilani McIntosh had 10.

Because of a Xavier lead of 30 points, officials went to a running clock in the final five minutes of the game.

The Gators return to action on Friday (Jan. 19) with a non-region home game against Anthem Boulder Creek. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.

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