GRAND CANYON, Ariz. - The Grand Canyon School Phantoms boys basketball team pulled out two wins last weekend against Red Mesa and Greyhills Academy.
The Phantoms took on Red Mesa on Jan. 10. Grand Canyon jumped out to a 25-8 lead after the first quarter thanks to senior guard Ethan Berry's four successful three-point shots. Red Mesa came back in the second quarter to cut the lead to 35-27 at the half.
However, the Phantoms hung onto the lead. Red Mesa never got closer than seven points in the second half.
Berry led Grand Canyon with 25 points, and finished six shots out of eight attempts from behind the arc. Joey Bankston added 18 points to go along with a game high 19 rebounds. Junior Tyler Jones added 11 points and 16 rebounds of his own.
While Berry was hitting his shots, finishing with eight points out of 13 shots from the field overall, the rest of the team struggled shooting a combined 12 points out of 40 shots and shooting just 50 percent from the free throw line. Fortunately for the Phantoms, the Redskins weren't much better, shooting just 35 percent from the field. Shauntay Begay led Red Mesa with 15 points.
"Ethan is a leader on our team and has been shooting the ball very well in practice, it was nice to see it translate into a performance like this in a game," head coach Dave Beery said. "Red Mesa has been very strong in our section this year and this victory is an important one heading towards seeding for the sectional tournament."
Even though the Phantoms' shooting woes continued against Greyhills Academy on Jan. 11, they were still able to come out on top. The team beat Greyhills 47-36.
The Grand Canyon boys chugged along to a 24-15 halftime lead in a game marred by missed shots and turnovers for both teams. The second half wasn't much prettier as Grand Canyon scored 23 points and Greyhills managed 21 points for a 47-36 final score.
Bankston led the Phantoms with 26 shots out of 28 attempts. Bankston also added 15 rebounds. Senior guard Justin Jarrell was four for six from the floor and shot two three-pointers from beyond the arc to finish with 10 points.
"Justin managed to dish out 10 assists on a night when not many shots were going in," Beery said.
The junior varsity girls lost to Greyhills 41-12. Mariela Montano scored nine points, Deya Ramos had two points and Valeria Romero added one.
The outcome wasn't much better for the varsity girls, who lost 56-33. Yesenia Jiminez scored 14 points, Tina Dugi had eight and Tateyonna Jeter-Nanacasia added seven.
Volunteer assistant coach Tami Legaspi said even though the Lady Phantoms have started their season off slow, the coaches have seen improvement in each game.
"As far as the season, the girls started off slow but have gained momentum. Although, their season record is 0-9, they have been able to score more points game after game," Legaspi said.
The girls and boys teams will travel to Valley Sanders on Jan. 16. and then to St. Michaels in Window Rock on Jan. 17.