Bio

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 AIA365.com, the web site of the Arizona Interscholastic Association.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Arcadia tourney is next stop for XCP hoops

Xavier Prep’s basketball players had an exciting time unwrapping their Christmas gifts. Now they get to add more excitement this week by participating in the 27-team Lady Titan Winter Hoops Classic at Phoenix Arcadia.

Xavier is 13-0 and the No. 1-ranked 6A Conference team in the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s power points system.

The Gators will play two games on Thursday (Dec. 27), against Mesa Westwood (10-4) at 10:15 a.m. and against Oro Valley (Tucson) Ironwood Ridge (10-3) at 2 p.m. The fourth team in the Gold A Division is Phoenix Desert Vista (7-6), and it will serve as XCP’s opponent on Friday (Dec. 28) at 5:45 p.m. Xavier defeated Desert Vista 61-49 in a game on Dec. 7 in Ahwatukee.

The tournament will continue on Saturday (Dec. 29) with game times to be determined.

Xavier has put up some impressive early season numbers.

Perhaps the most notable is the team’s average steals per game, fueled by a smothering full-court press. The Gators’ average is 25.9. As one might expect, the team’s three senior guards lead the way in that category. Paris Rasheed-Moore comes in at 7.3 per game, Leilani McIntosh at 4.8 and Addie Putnam at 4.3. Junior guard-forward Elysia Fleetwood is averaging 3.3.

The team is averaging 68.4 points per game, with the three guards figuring prominently.

Putnam leads with an 18.6 average, followed by McIntosh at 17.5 and Rasheed-Moore at 10.7. McIntosh is shooting 66 percent from the floor, and many of her 88 baskets have come on layups after steals. The team has made 66 3-point shots, 25 by Putnam.

Rasheed-Moore often starts the fast break by using her athleticism to get position under the basket and either hits the outlet or takes the ball down the floor herself. She is the team’s top rebounder with an average of 4.5 per game.

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