Practice proved almost perfect for the middle school Lady Phantoms in the form of three wins and a one-point loss against Williams and Seligman last Saturday.
"They've really improved a lot since their first game," said Head Coach Andrew Aldaz. "In their first games they lost to Seligman and Williams by more than eight points."
The closest game of the four was the final A team match-up between Grand Canyon and Seligman, which ended 20-19 in the Antelopes' favor. Neither team could build a commanding lead and it was anyone's game until the final buzzer.
Scorers were Chelsea Curtis with 6, Brandie Gomez with 4, Kelsey Wren with 3, Josie Araiza with 2, Savannah McBroom Sweeney with 2 and Madison Berry with 2.
Grand Canyon's B team defeated Williams 14-4. Scorers were Cori Yazzie with 6, Katreena Haswood with 4, Amber Nez with 2 and Morgan Timeche with 2.
Against Seligman, the B team scorers were Yazzie with 10, Timeche with 6, Kayley Wadsworth with 4, Haswood with 4, Kristin Forsythe with 2 and Nez with 2.
The A team beat Williams 29-22. Scorers were Curtis with 12, Berry with 10, Araiza with 3, Gomez with 2 and Wren with 2.
Aldaz said that based on these final match-ups in regular season play, the Lady Phantoms' prospects look good in this coming weekend's A and B team tournaments.
"These are the two toughest teams in our league," he said. "We're pretty even with Ash Fork. At the tournaments next weekend, it's anyone's game."
The progress also bodes well for the high school program. In fact, Aldaz said that it was with an eye toward the high school team that he decided to coach middle school rather than girls varsity this year.
"I'd like to see girls high school basketball back to what it was in the past," he said. "I wanted to develop a feeder program for the high school. The teams coming up have been lacking the fundamentals. I wanted to see that developed at the lower level. If they stay together, there is a big future for the Lady Phantoms."
The B team tournament is in Parks on Friday and the A team playoffs are in Ash Fork on Saturday.