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.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Everything falls in line for XCP hoops vs. Basha

 Monday (Jan. 24) was Parents Appreciation Night and Senior Night for the Xavier Prep basketball team and Spirit Line, and the Gators sent everyone home happy with a 71-29 6A Premier Region victory over visiting Chandler Basha at the Activity Center.

The Gators raised their overall record to 11-5 and solidified their No. 2 ranking in The Arizona Republic’s Super Team listing with a well-rounded performance.

Xavier collected 45 rebounds, made 18 steals and had three players score in double figures to put its stamp on the proceedings.

Sophomore point guard Dom Nesland led the way with 21 points, including three 3-point baskets, along with 8 rebounds and 5 assists.

Sophomore guard-forward Sarah Miller scored 15 points to supplement her 9 steals and 5 assists. And junior shooting guard Sienna Cherwinski got the Gators off to a good start in the first quarter by scoring all of her 11 points, including three 3-pointers.

Toni Garcia, the Gators’ lone senior player who was honored with senior student manager Devin Luke, scored 7 points and grabbed 8 rebounds. And sophomore guard-forward Maureen Ulrich had 6 points and 11 rebounds.

Xavier had built a 43-21 lead by halftime and outscored the Bears (6-13) 23-4 in the third quarter to set up a running-clock situation (a lead of 30+ points) in the final eight minutes.

Xavier and Basha will play another game on Feb. 5 at Basha, a rare Saturday contest, with a 12:30 p.m. start. It will be the makeup of a game that was postponed from earlier in the season.

And Xavier’s next game on the schedule will be on Thursday night (Jan. 27) at Chandler High. The two teama played on Jan. 11 at Xavier, with the Gators rolling to a 92-22 win.

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