GCS Phantoms basketball takes on Valley schools in tourney

Joey Bankston tips off against a Fredonia Lynx player. Clara Beard/WGCN

Joey Bankston tips off against a Fredonia Lynx player. Clara Beard/WGCN

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. - It's been a busy week for the Grand Canyon School Phantoms basketball teams.

Over winter break, the Phantoms played a holiday tournament at Phoenix Christian School on Dec. 26-28.

Head coach Dave Beery said his team's form was up and down, but showed they are capable of competing against strong Valley teams.

"It was kind of a roller coaster, we weren't very consistent and I think that's what we need to work on," Beery said.

The Phantoms won their opening game against Horizon Honors, 49-42. The next morning they played Veritas Prep, and lost by a single point. Ethan Berry hit a three pointer at the buzzer, but it wasn't counted because his foot was over the line.

"It was kind of a crazy moment," Beery said.

That evening, the Phantoms played Phoenix Christian, and lost 40-36. The next day, the team rallied to beat Catalina Magnet 51-45. In the afternoon, they took on Tempe Prep. The score remained close for three quarters, but in the last quarter Tempe pulled away from the Phantoms, and won 75-47. At the end of the tourney, Joey Bankston was named to the All-Tournament team.

On Jan. 2, the Phantoms won away against Rock Point 70-40.

"Our kids played really hard," Beery said. "I think the momentum from the tournament carried over to our game against Rock Point. We were very active on the offensive end, we communicated a lot better than we have earlier in the season."

Against Fredonia on Jan. 3, the team played well in the beginning of the game, and was able to use their size and athleticism to control the pace. The final score was 67-41, after Grand Canyon jumped out to a 43-13 lead at the half. Bankston led the way with 25 points and 13 rebounds. Ethan Jones contributed 17 points and Tyler Jones added 11 points

The next day, the team took on the Seligman Antelopes and won 53-47.

"They really were ready for us and jumped out to a 15-6 lead after the first quarter and led 30-21 at halftime," Beery said. "We came out in the second half very focused on the defensive end and outscored them 33-17 in the second half."

Bankston led the way for the Phantoms with 33 points on 13/19 shooting to offset a cold-shooting night from the team overall 20/44. Seligman sophomore guard Bryson Hunter led his team with 17 points.

Lady Phantoms roundup

On Jan. 2, the junior varsity Phantom girls lost away to Rock Point, 71-4. Mariela Montano and Cree Watahomigie scored two points each.

The next day, they lost at home to Fredonia, 16-8. Montano scored four points and sisters Ksena and Kiana Wadsworth scored two points each.

On Jan. 3, they lost to Seligman, 33-9. Valeria Romero scored four points, Montano and Jessica Van Inwagen scored two each and Tina Dugi sunk a free throw.

The Phantom varsity girls lost to Rock Point 70-12. Tateyonna Jeter and Deya Ramos scored four points each. Shanaya Upshaw and Ksena Wadsworth sunk two each.

The girls lost to Fredonia 37-29, and top scorers were Tateyonna Jeter-Nanacasia with 11, Ksena Wadsworth and Deya Ramos with six points each.

The Lady Phantoms also lost to Seligman, 40-24.

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