Grand Canyon Phantoms head to sectional tourney this weekend

Grand Canyon Phantom Joey Bankston scores against an Ash Fork defender. Clara Beard/WGCN<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->

Grand Canyon Phantom Joey Bankston scores against an Ash Fork defender. Clara Beard/WGCN<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. - After wrapping up the regular season with two wins, the Grand Canyon School (GCS) Phantoms boys basketball are on a 14 game winning streak heading into their sectional tournament this weekend.

On Feb. 6, the El Capitan Eagles visited the Grand Canyon. After falling behind 3-0 early, the Phantoms went on a 10-0 run to take the lead from El Capitan and never trailed again. Grand Canyon pushed its lead to 22-8 after the first quarter on a buzzer-beating basket by senior Ethan Berry. At halftime Grand Canyon led 35-22. In the second half, El Capitan was never able to get closer than six points as several tough baskets from the Eagles' Allen Bistline, who scored 18 points and Micah Barlow who scored 14 points were answered by Phantom seniors Berry, Joey Bankston, and Justin Jarrell. Bankston's 25 points and 15 rebounds, Berry's 21 and seven, and Jarrell's 15 and five led the Phantoms. Also in the scorebook for the Phantoms was Tyler Jones with eight points, Ian Jones with two and Alex Thompson with one point.

The next day, GCS celebrated Senior Night in between games. Phantom fans said goodbye to five seniors: Bankston, Berry, Jarrell, Ethan Jones and Nic Legaspi. During the game against Ash Fork, Grand Canyon was able to pull ahead 22-13 after the first quarter, with Bankston leading the way with 11 first quarter points. The Phantoms controlled the game the rest of the way and were able to secure a top seed in the upcoming AIA Division IV Section I tournament. The final score was 75-44.

Bankston finished with 25. Joining Bankston in the scorebook were Berry and Jarrell with 12 points, Tyler Jones with 10 points, Ethan Jones with eight, and Jaru Velazquez, Ian Jones, RJ Keebahe and Legaspi all with two points.

The Phantoms will play at Greyhills Academy in Tuba City against number four seed Red Valley-Cove today at 7 p.m. El Capitan will play Red Mesa at 5:15 p.m. The two victorious teams will play Saturday at 7 p.m. for the Sectional Championship.

Lady Phantoms

The Lady Phantoms varsity girls played El Capitan on Feb. 6 winning 29-16. Top scorers were Tateyonna Jeter-Nanacasia with 11 points, Yesenia Jiminez with eight and Deya Ramos with six points.

The next day, the girls ended their season playing Ash Fork at home. The varsity girls lost 40-25. Tina Dugi scored eight, Shanaya Upshaw and Jeter-Nanacasia both had six.

The junior varsity team won 20-16. Top scorers were Ramos with six, Mariela Montano with five and Dugi with four points.

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