Photo By Raymundo Frasquillo: Senior Braden Basteen looks for an open teammate after drawing a double team from Ray. The Wildkats edged the Bearcats, 37-36, Jan. 16.
By Raymundo Frasquillo
DUNCAN – Duncan finishes its regular season on the road, having completed its home schedule Jan. 16. The Wildkats are at Bowie / San Simon on Monday, Jan. 29, at Kearny Ray on Thursday, Feb. 1, and at Phoenix Day School for the Deaf on Friday, Feb. 2.
The Scarlet and Gray went 6-2 in January, downing the Valley Union Blue Devils 61-32 in Elfrida on the 2nd, the Bowie / San Simon Cougars 59-50 in Duncan on the 10th, the Panthers 57-29 in Superior on the 12th, the North Phoenix Prep Gladiators 52-33 in Duncan on the 13th, the Kearny Ray Bearcats 37-36 in Duncan on the 16th, and the Hayden Lobos 48-41 in Winkelman on the 24th. The Superior, North Phoenix Prep, Ray, and Hayden games were in region play.
Duncan (10-5 seeding record, 4-2 region for No. 3) lost its last two region pairings, 37-55 to the Apaches in Fort Thomas on Jan. 26 and 40-103 to the Eagles of NFL Yet in Phoenix Jan. 27. The results dropped the Wildkats from minus 2.5779 to minus 3.6611 in rating and from No. 11 to No. 12 in ranking.
Duncan – 48, Hayden – 41
The Wildkats won their fourth consecutive region contest, outscoring the host Lobos 19-9 in the fourth period. Duncan trailed 29-32 after three periods and 18-19 at halftime.
Sophomore Chris Smith connected on a field goal plus 8-8 free throws, senior Braden Basteen a field goal plus 1-2 free throws, sophomore Steven Pierpont a field goal plus 1-1 free throw, and junior Michael Lennon 2-3 free throws during the final period.
For the game, Duncan totaled 13 field goals (seven 3-pointers) plus 15-20 free throws compared to 16 field goals (five 3-pointers) plus 4-10 free throws by Hayden.
Smith tallied a season-high 20 points on four 3-pointers plus 8-8 free throws, Basteen 12 on four field goals (one 3-pointer) plus 3-5 free throws, and Lennon 10 on three field goals (two 3-pointers) plus 2-4 free throws. Sophomore Cliff Hansen and Pierpont added three points apiece.
For Hayden, senior Robert Bohrn had 13 points on five field goals (three 3-pointers), seniors Mario Mariscal and Frankie Valencia added nine points apiece, sophomore Javier Lopez five, junior Bobby Manriquez three, and George Rodriguez two.
Duncan – 37, Ray – 36
Senior Joseph Malinaro drilled a 3-pointer midway through the fourth period to tie the score at 34-34 and another 1:37 later to give the Wildkats their initial lead of the game.
A pair of Anthony Lopez free throws narrowed the margin to one, 37-36, with 1:27 remaining to play, and both teams missed two free throws, the Bearcats’ Fabian Valenzuela with 1:10 left and the Wildkats’ Lucas Basteen with two seconds left, to complete the scoring.
Head coach Eldon Merrell said he got a few more gray hairs.
The Wildkats outscored the visitors 10-6 in the final period. Malinaro had six points and Hansen four.
Duncan trailed 27-30 heading into the final period, 15-19 at halftime, 2-12 following the initial period, and by 12 before senior Wesley Conyer scored with 20 seconds left in the opening period.
The Wildkats’ uphill journey netted 15 field goals (four 3-pointers) plus 3-11 free throws versus 14 field goals (two 3-pointers) plus 6-12 free throws by the Bearcats.
Malinaro and Hansen had nine points apiece, Lennon seven, Conyer six, Braden Basteen, Lucas Basteen, Pierpont two each. Smith went 0-2 from the free throw line.
For Ray, Stone Patterson had 10 points on four field goals plus 2-2 free throws. Jayden Pace and Fabian Valenzuela both added seven points, Lopez and Richard Valenzuela four apiece, Guillermo Ortega and Romeo Williams two each. Tristan Foster was 0-2 in free throws.