Phantoms finish season, celebrate progress

From left: Grand Canyon Phantoms head coach David Perkins, seniors Neegoh Kaska, Israel Herrera, Herman Yellowhair and Travis Moreno, assistant coach Courtney Dixon. (Photo/David Perkins)

From left: Grand Canyon Phantoms head coach David Perkins, seniors Neegoh Kaska, Israel Herrera, Herman Yellowhair and Travis Moreno, assistant coach Courtney Dixon. (Photo/David Perkins)

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. — The Phantoms were unable to take a spot in the state tournament this year, but head coach David Perkins is happy with the improvements made by both the team and individuals throughout the season. The Phantoms bowed out of the regional tournament with a 60-36 loss to the Cibecue Wildcats Feb. 6.

“We were disappointed to end with a loss, but I told the boys that every team that plays in a postseason tournament loses its last game of the season, with the exception of one – the state champion,” Perkins said.

Perkins said there were many on-the-court successes this season, including the Phantoms’ highest win total in several years and the emergence of several younger players that he and assistant coach Courtney Dixon have been mentoring for two seasons. Perkins said the team also made many academic improvements this season, with Principal Tom Rowland congratulating them for their improvements in the classroom.

The Phantoms finished the season with a 7-15 record, and improvement over last year’s 3-20 record. Senior Travis Moreno was selected by the team as Player of the Year.

Perkins is proud of the team for everything they’ve accomplished.

“This is not only about basketball,” he said.  “The purpose (of high school sports) is to help boys build a solid foundation of character to take with them as they move from high school to other pursuits.”

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