Morenci Wildcats dispatch Benson Bobcats

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Senior Ryan Hayes checks the defender to decide which way to go. Morenci topped Benson 59-17 in a home region contest Jan. 8.

Fort Thomas blows out Duncan with big second half

By Raymundo Frasquillo

MORENCI – The Morenci Wildcats had little trouble dispatching Benson 59-17 during a home region contest Jan. 8. The Wildcats had a 21-point advantage following the opening period, led by 29 at halftime and by 40 heading into the final period.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Sophomore Steven Shawn-Michael Chavez Jr. drives to the basket against Carson Barney of Benson. Chavez totaled three points and Barney two.

“There are some things we need to be able to do against teams,” said Morenci head coach Patrick Hepper. “We were able to work on those in this game.”

The entire 10-member roster received court time.

Morenci (11-5 overall, 8-1 seeding, 10.5569 rating, 6-0 region) totaled 23 field goals (six 3-pointers) plus 7-11 free throws versus five field goals plus 7-15 free throws by Benson (8-7, 3-5, minus 0.9572, 2-4).

Senior Jordan Leonard contributed a game-high 16 points on five field goals (two 3-pointers) plus 4-6 free throws, senior Ryan Hayes 12 on five field goals (two 3-pointers) plus 0-1 free throws, and senior John Olmsted 10 on four field goals plus 2-2 free throws. Sophomores Maddux Martinez and Jordan Reyes added seven points apiece, sophomore Steven Shawn Michael Chavez Jr. three, and senior Matthew Silvester and sophomore Jeremiah Rojas two each.

For Benson, senior Braven Berryhill had five points, senior Jay Haro four, seniors Grason Judd and Austin Smith plus junior Carson Barney two apiece, and both senior junior Hayden Jacobson one each.

Second-ranked Morenci heads to No. 34 Willcox (3-10, 2-8, minus 5.0750, 1-5) on Friday, Jan. 11 before hosting No. 11 Pima (8-7, 5-4, 5.1525, 4-2) on Tuesday, Jan. 15.

Fort Thomas – 70, Duncan – 52

Although Duncan led 17-14 at the end of the initial period, the Wildkats were limited to single digit scoring in the second period to trail by three, 24-27, at halftime.

The visiting Apaches extended their advantage in the third period to lead by nine, 45-36, heading into the fourth period. A 25-16 final 8-minute outing assured Fort Thomas of the region win.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Fort Thomas 5-foot-7 junior Brad Johnson comes down with the rebound over taller junior teammates, 6-6 Latrell Titla (55) and 5-9 Skylar Kindelay (14), plus Duncan’s 6-5 junior Steven Pierpont (40).

Eighth-ranked Duncan (6-7 overall, 6-4 seeding, 0.1558 rating, 1-2 East Region) heads to No. 6 Gilbert Arete Prep (11-8, 8-3, 1.6178, 2-0) on Friday, Jan. 11 before hosting No. 30 Winkelman Hayden (1-15, 1-10, minus 13.5158, 0-3) on Tuesday, Jan. 15 and No. 28 Phoenix NFL Yet (1-14, 0-7, minus 10.0786, 0-2) on Wednesday, Jan. 16, all for region contests.

Second-ranked Fort Thomas (13-6, 8-2, 6.4322, 2-0 East) swings up north to take on No. 3 Cibecue (14-3, 6-1, 6.3179, 2-0 East) on Friday, Jan. 11 and No. 29 Saint Michael (5-10, 4-7, minus 12.9601, 3-5 North) on Saturday, Jan. 12  before returning to host No. 7 Kearny Ray (10-9, 7-3, 0.2710, 2-0 East) on Tuesday, Jan. 15.