The Grand Canyon High School boys basketball team continued its quest of improving each time on the court and won two of three games last week.
Tempy Walker makes an adjustment in mid-air for a Phantom layup.
Grand Canyon posted wins of 61-53 over Ash Fork and 75-33 over Northland Prep and if it wasn’t for one bad quarter at Fredonia, the Phantoms might have pulled off a victory against the Lynx.
But Fredonia turned a halftime deficit into an 18-point victory behind the strength of a 22-4 run in the third quarter.
"In the third quarter, they kicked up their defense inside a lot more and we weren’t hitting our outside shots," Grand Canyon coach Dan Lopez said. "They got up by 11 right out of the shoot with four three’s and we just couldn’t answer."
Grand Canyon had played well in the first half of Saturday’s game, leading 23-22 at the break. The Phantoms had their post game running on all cylinders.
"On our end, our gameplan was to get the ball inside," Lopez said. "We scored 17 points in the paint in the first half and then only two in the second half."
The Phantoms’ defensive gameplan was also working in the first two quarters.
"Fredonia runs a very disciplined baseline screening game with points in the paint," Lopez said. "We shut that down completely."
Fredonia came out for the third quarter and drilled four consecutive three-point goals to take a 34-23 lead. Grand Canyon never recovered.
Travis Schmidt and Miles Hunter had some success inside and finished as the top scorers with 10 and nine points, respectively.
Grand Canyon started the week with a 61-53 victory over Ash Fork. The Spartans and Phantoms played neck-and-neck through the entire first half.
The Phantoms led 25-24 at the half and would begin to pull away in the third quarter. Tempy Walker opened the quarter with a three-pointer and Schmidt began to dominate inside.
Ash Fork rallied to within three points midway through the fourth and pulled to within 54-50 of Grand Canyon with 1:32 remaining.
In the final 90 seconds, the Phantoms went on a 7-3 run, hitting their free throws and scoring inside on a Schmidt basket. Grand Canyon was 11-for-15 from the line in the fourth quarter.
Walker scored 21, Schmidt had 14 and Richardson Tisi added 11 in the win.
Ash Fork’s Josh Wentzloff finished with 27 for the Spartans.
On Friday, Grand Canyon dominated Flagstaff Northland Prep in a 42-point win. It was the third victory over the Spartans this year.
Hunter scored 14, Miguel Davila hit for 13 and Schmidt and Tisi each scored 12 for the Phantoms.
Grand Canyon (7-6, 9-11) has two big games on the schedule this week with a Friday home tilt with Seligman and a Saturday road trip to Shonto Prep.
The Phantoms and Antelopes will tip-off Friday at 7 p.m. Saturday’s road game is scheduled for a 3:30 p.m. start. GCHS then plays Joseph City Feb. 7 before regionals.