GC boys tune up<br>for stretch run

GC VILLAGE — After winning three games last week by an average score of 75-41, the Grand Canyon High School boys basketball team will be hoping for big things in the stretch run for a shot at the Class 1A state playoffs.

Grand Canyon's Kendall Kachinhongva tries to work the ball into the hoop.

The Phantoms began things last week with a conference victory over Peach Springs Music Mountain, 82-42. The team then stepped out of the conference on Friday to down last year's charter school state champion, Mesa Sequoia, 61-45, and finished the sweep on Saturday by humbling Flagstaff Northland Prep, 82-36.

"The teams we played, we should've beaten them by those margins," Grand Canyon coach Dan Lopez said. "When we play teams you know you should beat, you tend to slack off. But the freebies are over. We have Ash Fork, Joseph City, Fredonia and Seligman coming up."

The Phantoms played Ash Fork on Monday in a game after the newspaper's deadline. Grand Canyon was hoping to beat the Spartans for the first time in three tries this season.

Grand Canyon heads to Joseph City on Friday for another conference game. The Phantoms then finish the week Saturday with a homecoming tilt against Fredonia.

Lopez is hoping his Phantoms can win three of the last four games to get a favorable seeding in the Feb. 8-9 regional tournament. The regular season ends on Feb. 1 with a home game against Seligman.

Grand Canyon's win over Music Mountain came easy on Jan. 15. The Warriors scored the game's opening basket, but the Phantoms then went on a 13-0 run as if to say, "I don't think so."

The story of this game was balanced scoring, a common denominator in the team's success stories this year. Senior Mitchell Walker had a mere 19 points, well below his season average. The rest of the roster responded with five other players scoring eight or more points.

Kendall Kachinhongva scored 14 points, Richardson Tisi and Michael Vincent each scored 11 and Tempy Walker and Juan Davila each added eight.

On Friday, Sequoia never had a chance against the Phantoms. The opponent led 18-13 after the first quarter before the Grand Canyon turbocharger kicked in. By halftime, the Phantoms led, 30-25.

The second half was all Grand Canyon. Mitchell Walker was up to his old tricks with 32 points, including five three-pointers. Kachinhongva added nine.

Dominance carried over into Saturday's win over Northland Prep. Grand Canyon outscored the opponent, 26-3, in the first quarter and it was curtains for the Flagstaff school from there.

Mitchell Walker hit for 32 points, Vincent scored 13 and Tempy Walker added 11. The team had 10 players score points in the victory.

Grand Canyon's three wins were impressive, but the team did struggle at the foul line, which can haunt teams in the big ones. In last week's games, Grand Canyon's free-throw percentage was 44 percent.

The Phantoms (5-5, 9-11) head to Joseph City on Friday before hosting Fredonia on Saturday for homecoming. That game is scheduled for an earlier-than-usual start of 5:30 p.m.

Summaries

GRAND CANYON 82,

MUSIC MOUNTAIN 42

Jan. 15 at Grand Canyon

Scoring by quarters:

Music Mountain 5 13 12 12—42

Grand Canyon 15 23 25 19—82

Grand Canyon Scoring:

Miles Hunter 1 2-4 4, Richardson Tisi 5 0-0 11, Mitchell Walker 7 1-4 19, Michael Vincent 5 1-2 11, Kendall Kachinhongva 6 1-2 14, Tempy Walker 3 0-0 8, Nate Bitsui 0 2-2 2, Juan Davila 1 6-10 8, Miguel Davila 2 1-2 5. Totals 30 14-26 82.

Three-point goals: M. Walker 4, T. Walker 2, Tisi, Kachinhongva.

GRAND CANYON 61,

MESA SEQUOIA 45

Friday at Grand Canyon

Scoring by quarters:

Sequoia 18 7 10 8—45

Grand Canyon 13 17 16 15—61

Grand Canyon Scoring:

Brian Skeet 0 0-2 0, Tempy Walker 3 0-1 5, Michael Vincent 2 0-1 4, Kendall Kachinhongva 4 0-1 9, Miles Hunter 1 0-0 2, Mitchell Walker 12 3-7 32, Richardson Tisi 3 0-0 7. Totals 25 3-12 61.

Three-point goals: M. Walker 5, T. Walker, Kachinhongva, Tisi.

GRAND CANYON 82,

FLAGSTAFF NORTHLAND PREP 36

Saturday at Grand Canyon

Scoring by quarters:

Northland Prep 3 13 7 13—36

Grand Canyon 26 20 17 19—82

Grand Canyon Scoring:

Tempy Walker 5 0-0 11, Michael Vincent 6 1-1 13, Kendall Kachinhongva 3 0-0 6, Miguel Davila 1 0-0 2, Miles Hunter 2 0-0 4, Juan Davila 0 1-2 1, Ed Haslett 1 0-0 2, Mitchell Walker 14 0-2 32, Richardson Tisi 3 0-0 7, Robert Stickler 2 0-0 4. Totals 37 2-5 82.

Three-point goals: M. Walker 4, T. Walker, Tisi.

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