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, December 15, 2018

Zone helps Gators defeat Chaparral

A basketball team never seems to get too much practice. Then again, it’s nice to get a break every once in awhile.

Playing three games a week in back-to-back weeks, Xavier Prep’s Gators deserved a little time off.

But to do so, they had to defeat host Scottsdale Chaparral on Friday night (Dec. 14).

It was not easy. Chaparral had a first-quarter lead and was up by a point at halftime. The Firebirds continued to battle after that, but Xavier gained the upper hand in the third quarter and went on to take a 58-41 victory.

Xavier remained unbeaten at 12-0 while Chaparral dropped to 5-7.

Coach Jennifer Gillom told her players afterward that they would not have to practice on Saturday (Dec. 15), much to the girls’ delight. Gillom wanted them to mentally prepare for Monday night’s (Dec. 17) game at Peoria Liberty and to start to get ready for exams that will begin on Tuesday (Dec. 18).

One of the biggest reasons why the Gators were able to assume control in the third quarter was their defense. They had attempted to use their pressing defense earlier, but the officials were making tight (and frequent) calls, resulting in a bit of foul trouble.

So the Gators backed off, and Gillom put them in a zone defense for the second time this season. The game on Dec. 11 at Phoenix Mountain Pointe was the first time, Gillom said.

“It (zone) enabled us to fight through, and we did a good job,’’ Gillom said.

Xavier at times was inconsistent with its shooting, but found its range later on.

“We struggled with our shooting, but now we have the maturity to overcome that. It didn’t always happen last year,’’ Gillom said.

The Gators, who have spread the wealth with their scoring this season, went with a group that was working, and only the starting five scored. Four were in double figures.

Gillom gave those four the Player of the Game designation – Paris Rasheed-Moore, Addie Putnam, Leilani McIntosh and Elysia Fleetwood.

In Liberty, the Gators will be playing a team that usually is fundamentally sound, similar to Chaparral. Xavier and Liberty also will be participating in the Lady Titan Winter Hoops Classic at Phoenix Arcadia from Dec. 27-29.

Xavier Prep 58, Scottsdale Chaparral 41

XCP – Addie Putnam 16, Leilani McIntosh 14, Elysia Fleetwood 13, Paris Rasheed-Moore 11, Truly Helton 4.

No comments:

Post a Comment