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.

Saturday, February 12, 2022

Gators to play "old friend" Chandler in hoops opener

 The 6A Conference state basketball tournament has been set, and Xavier Prep finds itself in a very good spot.

The Gators are the No. 2 seed in the tournament, and that means they would have three straight home games leading up to the 6A finals, which will be held at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix.

Xavier will open play on Wednesday (Feb. 16) at the Activity Center, and the opponent will be very familiar.

That would be No. 15 seed Chandler High, which like Xavier is a member of the 6A Premier Region. Xavier won both meetings during the regular season, 92-22 on Jan. 11 at Xavier and 60-35 on Jan. 27 at Chandler.

Xavier went on to finish 8-0 in region play and enters the tournament with a 17-5 overall record under head coach Jennifer Gillom. Chandler, which defeated Surprise Shadow Ridge 55-44 in a “play-in’’ game on Thursday night (Feb. 10), is 15-11.

The winner of the Xavier-Chandler contest will move on to the quarterfinals on Feb. 22.

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