Duncan girls post second win, defeat visiting Eagles in region game

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Duncan junior Morgan Billingsley (30) and senior Britni Avant (14) battle with an NFL YET defender for a rebound.

By Raymundo Frasquillo

DUNCAN – The Eric Bejarano-coached Duncan basketball girls posted a second win, their first in region play, defeating the Phoenix NFL Yet Eagles 42-15 in Duncan on Jan. 16.

Duncan visited the Patagonia Lobos on Jan. 21, hosts the Superior Panthers on Tuesday, Jan. 22, and the Elfrida Valley Union Blue Devils on Thursday, Jan. 24, visits the Bowie / San Simon Cougars on Feb. 4 and welcomes the Kearny Ray Bearcats on Feb. 7. The region tourney is at Fort Thomas on Jan. 29.

During January region pairings, the Wildkats also fell 50-20 to the Fort Thomas Apaches in Duncan on Jan. 8, 30-20 to the Arete Prep Chargers in Gilbert on Jan. 11, and 52-37 to the Winkelman Hayden Lobos in Duncan on Jan. 15.

Ranked 30th of 39 1A teams, the Wildkats (2-12 seeding, minus 9.7191 rating, 1-5 East Region for No. 7) are above the No. 35 Eagles (0-11, minus 19.8392, 0-5 for No. 8) in region standings as the teams wind down the last three weeks of the regular season.

The order of the rest of the East Region is the No. 4 Fort Thomas Apaches (11-3, 7.5088, 4-0 region for No. 1), the No. 7 Bearcats (11-3, 6.8500, 5-1 region for No. 2), the No. 13 Cibecue Wildcats (9-3, 1.6604, 3-2 region for No. 4), the No. 18 Chargers (7-7, minus 3.0545, 3-1 region for No. 3), the No. 19 Lobos (7-7, minus 3.8363, 3-3 region for No. 5), and the No. 21 Panthers (4-9, minus 5.0619, 1-3 region for No. 6) as of Monday morning, Jan. 21.

The Wildkats have averaged a 25-43 (400-692) score per game or a deficit of 18 points and have a combined free throw shooting percentage of 44 (109-249) compared to 49 (115-237) for their opponents through 16 games.

Individually, junior Kaktys Garcia has a percentage of 100 (2-2), senior Payton Damron 59 (37-63), senior Katelyn Stergion 56 (5-9), senior Melissa Claridge 51 (32-63), sophomore Janye Eddy 35 (7-20), senior Delanie Claridge 36 (5-14), sophomore Loren Basteen 33 (4-12), freshman Kiley McGrath 29 (15-51), freshman Kierra Lacey 15 (2-13), junior Morgan Billingsley 0-2.

Senior Britni Avant, sophomore Angel Benavidez, and freshman Oniah Jensen have not attempted any free throws.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Duncan sophomore Loren Basteen concentrates on making the fourth of four free throw attempts against the NFL Yet Eagles Jan. 16. She ended with five fourth-quarter points.

Duncan – 42, NFL Yet – 15

The Wildkats scored in double figures during the first two periods en route to a 26-7 halftime advantage.

A platoon system was in effect pairing players of the same grade level together on the court Bejarano said.

Duncan shut down the Eagles in the final period as a 2-to-1 (16-8) second half advantage was achieved.

The Wildkats totaled 17 field goals plus 8-18 free throws versus five field goals (one 3-pointer) plus 4-7 free throws by the Eagles.

Eight of the 10-member Wildkats’ squad contributed to the scoring total. Melissa Claridge had 10 points on four field goals plus 2-4 free throws. Damron added nine points, Garcia six, Basteen five, Delanie Claridge and Lacey four apiece, and both Billingsley and McGrath four each.

Kamill Rodriguez had seven points, Andrea Heredia and Valerie Lopez three apiece, and Yulissa Morales two for the Eagles.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Senior Kaitlyn Stergion drives toward the basket against an NFL Yet defender. Duncan downed the Eagles 42-15 Jan. 16.

Hayden – 52, Duncan – 37

Duncan managed double-digit scoring in three of the four periods, but was unable to erase the 15-5 opening period deficit. The Wildkats trailed by 13 (15-28) at halftime and by 15 (26-41) heading into the final period.

The Wildkats totaled 11 field goals (one 3-pointer) plus 14-24 free throws compared to 22 field goals (two 3-pointers) plus 6-11 free throws by the Lobos.

Melissa Claridge paced the Scarlet and Gray in scoring, netting 10 points on five field goals. Damron added eight points, McGrath seven, Garcia five, Basteen three and both Delanie Claridge and Stergion two apiece.

The Lobos got 21 points from Sarrah Perez on eight field goals (one 3-pointer) plus 4-7 free throws. Juliana Hong and Sonia Urias both added eight points, Costello and both Aiyana and Clarissa Gonzales four apiece, and both Gomez and Ochoa two each.

Arete Prep – 30, Duncan – 20

The Wildkats trailed by four, 23-19, at the start of the fourth period, but were limited to a lone free throw in the final eight minutes. Duncan was outscored 17-6 in the second half after taking a 14-13 halftime edge into the locker room.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Duncan spirit line members lead the crowd in a cheer during a recent home basketball games. Team members, from left, are freshman Lisa Edwards, junior Domanique Giacoletti, sophomore Mia Hoglan, sophomore Wyatt Skinner, freshman Stormie Wright, freshman Ella Jernigan, and sophomore Kinsley Rapier.

On the evening, six field goals plus 8-17 free throws were scored by the Scarlet and Gray versus 13 field goals plus 4-11 free throws by the Chargers.

Damron netted eight points, Melissa Claridge seven, both Garcia and McGrath two, and Stergion one.

Hannah Howell had 10 points for the Chargers on four field goals plus 2-2 free throws. Alissa Kasenbaum added eight points, Mariah Dominguez seven, Jara Tollen three, and Edikan Udoh two.

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