The Phantoms face off against Salt Lake at last week’s invitational tournament in Williams.
Head Coach Dan Lopez said the loss was one of missed opportun-ities.
“We just executed poorly down the stretch and give kudos to Seligman as they made big plays when they had to,” said Coach Lopez.
Seligman had the ball down by three with less than a minute to go when Antelope guard Vince Alvarado (Coach Lopez’s nephew) hit a 3-point shot with defenders draped all over him to tie the game 36-36 with eight seconds to go. After a Phantom time-out, David Robinson was fouled on the inbounds and went to the line to shoot two free throws with 4.4 seconds left in the game. Lopez said he set up a special inbounds play but the play was not executed as planned.
“I take the blame for the confusion, I don’t think I explained the play well enough and the inbounds pass went to the wrong person,” he said.
The Phantoms still had a chance to take the lead but Robinson missed both free throws and Seligman rebounded the ball, pushed it up court and a last-second shot went in at the buzzer.
“I thought David had a great weekend of basketball and I think this was a good learning experience for both him and the team,” Coach Lopez said. “We were 10 for 19 at the free throw line so David wasn’t the only one having problems. His just came at the end of the game. We also missed seven layups so this was unfortunately a team loss. On the bright side if we had to lose a game to Seligman I am glad it was this one, and not a conference game. We go to their place on Saturday and the team is confident we can pick up a win. Seligman has a good club and they are well coached so it will be an exciting game.”
Phantoms, 62; Salt River 44
In the opener of the tournament Grand Canyon was trailing a scrappy Salt River team 34-33 at the end of the third quarter but outscored them 29 to 10 to pull away for their first victory of the season. Dennis Booth led the team in scoring with 22 points to go along with 12 rebounds. Tempy Walker had 12 points and 9 assists Miguel Davila finished with 10 points.
Phantoms, 68; Cowboys, 44
In the afternoon game the boy’s took on 3A soccer rival Camp Verde Cowboys, and like the first game the Phantoms trailed 22-25 at half time, and had a narrow eight-point lead at the end of the third quarter. GCHS then picked up the intensity and outscored the Cowboys 23 to 7 in the fourth.
“This was a good win for us,” Coach Lopez said. “We shut down a high scoring team that pushes the ball up court and likes to shoot a lot of 3s. They didn’t get any fast break baskets and our defense held their leading scorer (24 points per game) to 2 points.
All-conference guard Tempy Walker led the assault with 24 points and five assists. Miguel Davila chipped in 10 points and had four steals.
Forward Danny Vincent had 11 points and 13 rebounds and center Dennis Booth scored 15 points and hauled down 15 rebounds.
Grand Canyon will host four-time conference champion Joseph City this Friday with the girls JV game starting at 2:30 p.m., followed by the boy’s JV at 4 p.m.; girls varsity at 5:30 p.m. and the boys varsity at 7 p.m. Lopez would like to have a big crowd for both games.
“Last year our crowd was a big help and we want to start conference play with a win over the defending champions so come out and enjoy some exciting basketball,” he said.