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 5, 2022

Hoops week was long, but it ended successfully

 In a week that had Xavier Prep’s basketball team playing four times, including a pair of make-up games and a trip to Tucson, the Gators finally earned a few days of rest with the last of their four wins on Saturday (Feb. 5).

The latest, a rare afternoon contest, saw Xavier run away from 6A Conference Premier Region rival Chandler Basha at Basha 70-37.

Xavier now has a 16-5 overall record and wraps up the regular season at Chandler Hamilton on Tuesday night (Feb. 8).

Basha (6-18) was playing with just seven players but gave a good effort despite its personnel disadvantage. The Bears had worn down by the start of the fourth quarter, when the “running clock’’ rule was implemented.

Xavier coach Jennifer Gillom was pleased with her team’s play against Basha, particularly the defense.

”It was a great team effort for us. Our defense is starting to click,’’ she said. “When we play our good defense, it carries over into other parts of our game.

“The last few games with the defense, it has been to our advantage. Now we will have Hamilton, a good team that is looking for a bit of revenge, I guess you could say.’’

Xavier defeated Hamilton 47-28 when the Huskies paid a visit to the Activity Center on Jan. 21.

Gillom also was happy with some of the offensive aspects against Basha, including ball movement.

Sophomore guard-forward Sarah Miller led XCP with 21 points. Sophomore point guard Dom Nesland scored 14 to go with her eight rebounds and five assists. Junior forward Gabi Trbovic helped out with six rebounds and four points.

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