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 8, 2020

Xavier hoops wins, but coach seeks consistency

Xavier Prep’s basketball team ushered in the New Year with a 53-22 victory over visiting Peoria Liberty on Tuesday night (Jan. 7), but Gators coach Jennifer Gillom says her team is a long way from where she needs it to be.

“I’m not content,’’ she said. “We have played well in spurts, but we haven’t had that consistency. We need to play well for four quarters. We are way better than the way we are playing.’’

The Gators, who have a 13-3 overall record, will be tested again right away on Wednesday night (Jan. 8) against visiting Scottsdale Chaparral (9-7) at the Activity Center.

The contest against Liberty (1-10) was played under a running clock in the fourth quarter, signifying a 30-point divide. The teams combined for only three points, and Xavier mostly was using its reserves.

Xavier freshman inside player Mia Davis sat this one out due to a health issue, but Gillom said she expected Davis to be available for the Chaparral contest.

That gave Gillom an opportunity to get a longer look at freshman Hannah Young and senior Tanya Barakat, who responded affirmatively and combined for 11 points.

Senior Elysia Fleetwood played her usual role as a thorn in the side of the opposing offense. She came up with several steals, some of which led to points of her own or for teammates. She led the Gators with 12 points.

Xavier Prep 53, Liberty 22

Xavier scoring – Elysia Fleetwood 12, Tori Saucedo 9, Sienna Cherwinski 7, Mackenzie Coder 7, Hannah Young 6, Kailey Appel 5, Tanya Barakat 5, Lauren Etsitty 2.

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