Phantoms end regular season ranked No. 2

Facing must win situation to qualify for state playoffs

Ryan Williams/WGCN<br>
Jared Ruyle looks to drive past his opponent. Ruyle scored 15 points with four assists against Beaver Dam Jan. 28.

Ryan Williams/WGCN<br> Jared Ruyle looks to drive past his opponent. Ruyle scored 15 points with four assists against Beaver Dam Jan. 28.

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. - In a battle to determine first place in the conference, the Phantoms came up short against a formidable Colorado City squad Jan. 27.

Head Coach Silas Aiken said his team faced a tough Colorado City defense during their 67-24 loss.

"We had a tough time with their trapping defense and we turned the ball over 35 times," he said. "Colorado City will be one of the favorites to win the State Championship with their only losses on the season being against the bigger schools in southern Utah, St. George and Hurricane.

Sophomore Loran Talas came off the bench to lead the Phantoms with eight points.

The following day in an away game against Beaver Dam, the Phantoms bounced back to win

62-40.

Andrew Araiza led the Phantoms with a season high 16 points followed by Jared Ruyle with 15 points and four assists.

The Phantoms kept on winning, heading to Fredonia Jan. 29 where they prevailed 66-30.

Although Fredonia has had a winless season, the game proved to be an excellent finish to the regular season with 11 Phantoms players contributing to the final score.

Talas scored a team high 13 points, with five steals. Joey Bankston had a good game with 11 points, seven rebounds, four steals, and five blocks.

The Phantoms finished the regular season in second place, 16-8 overall and 8-2 in conference. They take on Mogollon (Heber) in the first round of playoffs at the region tournament in Flagstaff Friday at 12:30 p.m. at Sinagua High School. The Phantoms need a win to qualify for the state playoffs.

"It should be a fairly even match up versus Mogollon," Aiken said. "Although they finished third in their conference, they will be a tough team to beat. I like our chances, but if we win, they will be the best team that we've beaten all year."

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