Xavier Prep’s Gators began their appearance on Friday (Nov. 29) in the annual Scorpion Shootout at Goodyear Desert Edge with a bright and early basketball game at 9 a.m., followed shortly thereafter by another at lunch time.
experience certainly was more enjoyable than Tuesday’s (Nov. 26) season-opening
loss to Phoenix Mountain Pointe.
defeated Surprise Shadow Ridge 58-26 in the first game and outdueled a scrappy
Buckeye Verrado squad 51-42 in the second contest to advance to Saturday’s (Nov.
30) semifinal round. Xavier will play that contest at 4:30 p.m. A win would put
the Gators in the tournament championship game at 7:30, and a loss would put
them in the third-place game, also at 7:30.
Jennifer Gillom knows she likely will have to endure a rollercoaster ride, at
least in the early going, until her young team can play with more consistency.
take time,’’ she said. “This (Saturday) was a lot better than that first
the 19-point loss to Mountain Pointe, Gillom searched her brain to try and find
the best way to prioritize what to cover in practice, and especially how much
to avoid overload. Xavier has only two seniors, nine juniors, one sophomore
and three freshmen. Virtually all of them had little or no experience as
starters last season.
down some things and I was thinking, was I asking too much too early?’’ she
said. “It comes down to that I believe in this team, and they are going to “get
Xavier got a
strong effort from senior post player Tanya Barakat in the first game with
several key baskets, and senior guard-forward Elysia Fleetwood scored 11 of her
game-high 15 points in the third quarter of the second game to give the Gators
the edge against Verrado.
had been slowed by foul trouble in the first half, but in the second half,
“played a lot smarter and that enabled her to stay in the game," Gillom said.
connected on seven 3-point shots, three by Fleetwood, two by freshman Mia Davis
and two by junior wing Kailey Appel. And freshman Hannah Young helped Davis and
Barakat with some timely rebounding in the second game.
(Verrado) were a tough team and made us work hard,’’ Gillom said. “That’s just
what we needed. In the second half, we had better execution and better poise.’’
Xavier Prep 51, Verrado 42
scoring – Elysia
Fleetwood 15, Mia Davis 13, Mackenzie Coder 7, Kailey Appel 6, Hannah Young 4,
Tanya Barakat 3, Victoria Saucedo 2, Sienna Cherwinski 1.