Phantoms show heart in first scrimmage
The Grand Canyon boys basketball team proved the old adage that good things come in small packages with an energetic 38-15 win over the Ash Fork Spartans in a preseason scrimmage for both teams.
The Phantoms started the game with two freshman playing at the varsity level for the first time in John Kissner and Jose Jaime, a sophomore with limited varsity minutes in small forward Daniel Celis and center Andres Velasquez who at 6 feet had limited time on the court last year.
Second year starter Danny Trenchard had a big game with 15 points, 9 rebounds 4 blocks and 3 steals.
Last year's JV point guard Cruz Caballero had 10 points and 5 assists.
The scrimmage was 20-minute halves with a running clock. The first half looked like the first scrimmage of the season with both teams struggling to score, and the Phantoms went into half time with a narrow 14 to 8 lead.
They came out determined for the second half, went on a 12-0 run and never looked back.
Head coach Dan Lopez rotated his six players about every five minutes as the Spartans kept substituting four and five players at a time.
"Great way to start," said Lopez, who noted that the players showed a lot of energy and played relentless defense despite being short handed.
"Hopefully we can get our classroom responsibilities taken care of and add some depth to the team," he said. "But you have to give these kids a lot of credit. They could have come out and felt sorry for themselves because we were missing some key players, but they came out determined and aggressive and stayed that way for 40 minutes."
The Phantoms open the season Nov. 29 at the Williams Route 66 tournament, with time and players to be announced.