The Grand Canyon middle school boy’s basketball team took the champion-ship for the second year in a row at last weekend’s I-40 A tour-nament. Making up the team are (back row, from left), assistant coach Marcus Fuhrman, Michael Trenchard, Michael Eck, Shaun Ray, Robert McNeary, coach Matt Yost, (second row, from left) Daniel Trenchard, Bille Booth, Carlton Godinez, Cruz Cabillaro, and (in front) Casey Gibson. Not pictured is assistant coach Ronnie Gibson
“He (Trenchard) really tore it up,” said Yost.
While the other four teams battled through multiple games, the Phantoms were able to return to the court at mid-afternoon rested and confident.
They dominated the game, leading 18-9 at the half and depriving the Falcons of scoring opportunities through numerous steals and quick pick-ups off Williams rebounds.
The Williams boys closed the gap somewhat in the second half but were unable to stop the Phantoms’ momentum. Contributing to the Grand Canyon win were Michael Trenchard with 12 points, Daniel Trenchard with six, Carlton Godinez and Cruz Cabillaro with four apiece, Eck with three, and Casey Gibson with 2.
This is the second year in a row that the Canyon has taken the I-40 A championship. Though they also took the I-40 B championship last year, they didn’t fare so well this time, ending that tournament in fourth place.
In that contest, played over last Thursday and Friday, the Phantoms beat Ash Fork 33-21 on Thursday, then played three consecutive games on Friday, edging past Parks 20-18, then losing to Seligman 34-27, and faltering in a rematch with Parks that ended at 25-15.
In that tournament, Godinez made a strong showing, scoring eight in the first match against Parks, 13 in the Seligman contest, and five against Parks the second time.
Yost said that winning the championship Saturday was just icing on a successful season in which all of the players got more time on the court. He also cited the hard work by assistant coaches Marcus Fuhrman and Ronnie Gibson as instrumental to the marked growth and improvement by all of the players.
“I can’t say enough about how hard the team worked to get where they were,” said Yost. “Marcus, Ronnie and I are proud of them.”