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, June 16, 2021

Xavier summer hoops show just keeps rolling along

 Another opponent fell by the wayside on Tuesday night (June 15) as Xavier Prep recorded a 54-43 victory over Peoria Sunrise Mountain in the Thunderbird Summer League at Thunderbird High in north Phoenix.

Xavier remains unbeaten in the league at 5-0, with its last two TSL games coming up on Monday night (June 21 vs. Glendale Deer Valley) and on June 24 vs. Thunderbird Blue. Game times are 7 and 9 p.m., respectively. Sunrise Mountain slipped to 4-1.

A brief playoff will be held on dates to be determined, likely before the end of June. It looks as if it will be a maximum of two games.

Xavier went on a 16-0 run late in the game and Sunrise Mountain responded with a 9-0 effort in an attempt to get back into it, but by then it was too late.

“What we did in the last 10 minutes, you just don’t see that,’’ said Xavier coach Jennifer Gillom.

“This team has a lot of fight on defense, and you’re seeing how it can lead to points for the offense. We need to continue to remember that – where that scoring comes from.’’

Gillom was pleased with the play of sophomore-to-be point guard Dominique Nesland, who was playing her first game in the TSL (leg soreness) but did play in brief stretches in the recent Lady X Tournament in Mesa. She finished with 18 points against Sunrise Mountain.

“It was a great game for Dom and overall, it was a good team effort,’’ Gillom said.

Xavier had eight three-point baskets, while Sunrise had just three.

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