GRAND CANYON, Ariz. — After losing a tough game to Flagstaff BASIS in the Route 66 Holiday Classic, the Phantoms bounced back with a 48-45 win over the Yetis Dec. 4 at home.
Sophomore Rufus Keebahe led the charge with 17 points, including five 3-pointers. Melakai Longhoma finished strong just behind Keebahe with 14 points and nine rebounds. Senior Neegoh Kaska had six points, two blocked shots and pulled down 14 rebounds.
Head coach David Perkins said the Phantoms started the game sluggish on offense and found themselves in six-point hole after the first quarter.
Perkins said Keebahe took control of the game from that point on, hitting three uncontested 3-point shots and and a field goal to finish the quarter with 11 points.
Although the Yetis were able to fight their way back from a six-point deficit in the third quarter, Keebahe’s hot streak gave the Phantoms an advantage.
“Keebahe’s hot streak from beyond the arc opened up the interior for Longhoma,” Perkins said. “Rufus was just excellent. We have been watching him grow as a player.”
Perkins said along with scoring, rebounding was a huge factor for the Phantoms.
“You have to fight for rebounds against the Yeti,” Perkins said. “They contest every one of them. I thought Kaska really set the tone for the game from our first possession. His three or four offensive rebounds, finishing with a nice tip for our first two points, really got us going in the right direction.
Coming off the win against the Yetis, the Phantoms dropped a tough game, 64-34, to the Williams Vikings Dec. 9.