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.

Friday, February 14, 2020

XCP soccer gets another chance at Basha

After a solid 4-0 victory over visiting Yuma Cibola in Thursday night’s 6A Conference soccer “play-in’’ game, Xavier Prep advances to Saturday’s (Feb. 15) first round of the state tournament against host Chandler Basha.

Bring your shades. The 2 p.m. contest should be bright and sunny.

Xavier (7-8-1) is the No. 11 seed, just as it was a year ago after a win over Mesa Westwood in the play-in. Xavier fell to No. 6 seed Gilbert Highland in the first round.

Basha (13-6) is this year’s No. 6 seed. The Bears had a battle on their hands when they faced Xavier on Jan. 24 at Basha before escaping with a 2-0 victory.

Xavier has been extremely competitive all season, and the win over Cibola should give the Gators a boost.

Junior Kendall Warner broke the ice for Xavier against Cibola with the Gators’ only first-half goal. Scoring Xavier goals in the second half were sophomore Ansley Burns, senior Elizabeth Warren and senior Taylor Brown. Warren, in particular, played a key leadership role throughout.

This year’s top-seeded team is defending champion Scottsdale Chaparral.

6A Conference first-round soccer schedule

All games, 2 p.m.

(Seedings in parentheses)

Phoenix Sandra Day O’Connor (16) at Scottsdale Chaparral (1), Mesa Desert Ridge (9) at Mesa Red Mountain (8), Peoria Liberty (12) at Phoenix Pinnacle (5), Phoenix Mountain Pointe (13), Phoenix Desert Vista (4), Surprise Shadow Ridge (14) at Gilbert Highland (3), Xavier Prep (11) at Chandler Basha (6), Queen Creek (10) at Chandler Hamilton (7), Tempe Corona del Sol (15) at Gilbert Perry (2).

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