Head Basketball Coach Dan Lopez decided during the volleyball season not to break up the freshman and sophomores. Instead, he let them play together on the junior varsity team, resulting in a 5-2 record with wins over perennial conference powers Fredonia, Seligman and Williams.
The young Ladies rebounded from a close loss at St. Mike's by beating Shonto Prep 39-13, then upset the Lady Lopes from Seligman 39-20.
The Phantoms started out strong in that game, taking a 26-10 lead at halftime and never looking back.
Balanced scoring was the key as sophomores Monique Streit and Tiffany Kerr had 8 points each, Miriam Bankston added 9 and freshman Madison Berry had 8.
This victory was on the heels of a big win over two-time defending state champion Fredonia Lynx. The young Lady Phantoms hung tough, beating the Lady Lynx 28-24.
Freshman Madison Berry led the scoring with 11 points, and 8 rebounds, followed by Streit with 7 points and Bankston with 6 points and 16 rebounds.
Trailing 17-15 at the end of the third quarter, the Phantoms outscored Fredonia 13-7 in the fourth quarter.
"I can't tell you how proud I am of these girls, beating two of the best teams in our conference," said Lopez. "This is a real confidence boost for our program because we will be playing the same girls over the next two years."
Gaining confidence with each game the JV girls scored a team record 60 points to defeat the Lady Vikings JV 60-46 in Williams.
Berry led the scoring with 19 points and Bankston added 17 points and 20 rebounds. Sophomores Kerr and Marissa Timeche had 5 points apiece.
The game was close all the way as neither team led by more than 6 points. The Canyon outscored Williams 16-10 in the final quarter with Berry scoring 8 of the 16 points.
"Wow, 60 points for a junior varsity team is pretty amazing considering how we shoot," a happy Lopez commented. "Madison just keeps getting better as she gains more confidence. She is one of the most unpretentious players I have ever coached. Miriam Bankston is just the tip of the iceberg of what she can accomplish over the next two years. It is a joy to coach this entire group."
The Phantoms open play at home this Friday with a 4:30 girls JV game followed by girls varsity and boys varsity. They play Saturday at home against Williams with games at the same time.