No. 13 Duncan boys host No. 19 Patagonia on Friday

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Benjamin Harris pulls away from Valley Union freshman Steven De La Cruz. The Wildkats broke open a 23-20 early second-half game with 18 unanswered points, topping the Blue Devils 54-28 on Jan. 6. Duncan hosts Patagonia for its initial region pairing on Friday, Jan. 14.

By Raymundo Frasquillo

DUNCAN – The Eldon Merrell-coached 1A South Duncan Wildkats welcome Patagonia on Friday, Jan. 14 for their initial region contest. Saint David is at Cibecue on the same date.

During the first full week of region pairings, Patagonia is also at San Simon and Saint David at Fort Thomas on Tuesday, Jan. 11.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Duncan spirit line members, from left, junior Emily Hinton plus freshmen Abigail Gates and Abagail Nelson, pause during a break to hydrate themselves.

In non-region pairings for region members, San Simon hosts California Winterhaven San Pasqual on Monday, Jan. 10; Cibecue at Kearny Ray on Jan. 11; Patagonia at Tucson ASDB on Wednesday, Jan. 12; Saint David at Benson and Tucson’s The Gregory School at Fort Thomas on Thursday, Jan. 13; San Simon at ASDB Jan. 14; and Cibecue at Duncan, Fort Thomas at Gilbert Leading Edge, and Sells Baboquivari at Saint David on Saturday, Jan. 15.

Cibecue defeated Valley Union 54-33 in Elfrida during a region contest on Jan. 7 and Fort Thomas downed Baboquivari 48-42 in a non-region pairing on Jan. 8.

The region members were ranked No. 8 through No. 41 of 42 in the enrollment class following the initial week of rankings. Saint David (10-3, 5-2, 4.0882, 0-0) is No. 8, Duncan (11-3, 5-2, 1.9972, 0-0) No. 13, Patagonia (5-7, 3-2, minus 1.5379, 0-0) No. 19, Cibecue (6-8 overall, 3-3 seeding, minus 1.5379 rating, 1-0 region) No. 20, San Simon (1-10, 1-6, minus 6.1096, 0-0) No. 33, Fort Thomas (2-13, 2-6, 8.1653, 0-0) No. 36, and Valley Union (0-14, 0-10, minus 17.3118, 0-1) No. 41.

Duncan is averaging a 53-41 (735-567) score per game or a 12-point margin while Patagonia is averaging a 39-51 (471-614) score per game or a 12-point deficit.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Conlon Jensen is fouled as he goes up for a shot attempt. The Duncan senior is making 73 (58-79) percent of his free throws.

The Lobos have wins of 47-35 over San Simon (Nov. 22), 56-40 over Tucson San Miguel Catholic (Dec. 7), 48-13 over Valley Union (Dec. 10), 50-44 over Tucson Immaculate Heart (Dec. 15), and 61-46 over Tombstone (Dec. 16). The losses are 28-64 to Willcox (Nov. 23), 21-56 to Duncan (Nov. 23), 35-48 to San Manuel (Nov. 24), 36-55 to Willcox (Nov. 30), 39-70 to San Manuel (Dec. 9), 27-77 to Benson (Dec. 11), and 43-66 to Sahuarita (Dec. 11). Scheduled games with ASDB (Jan. 4) and Nogales Lourdes Catholic (Jan. 5) were canceled.

The Wildkats have wins of 66-35 over San Simon (Nov. 22), 61-54 over Willcox (Nov. 22), 56-21 over Patagonia (Nov. 23), 51-46 over Baboquivari (Nov. 24), 47-36 over Willcox (Nov. 24), 62-35 over Fort Thomas (Dec. 3), 63-49 over Anthem Prep (Dec. 8), 66-31 over San Simon (Dec. 14), 46-39 over The Gregory School (Dec. 17), 58-41 over Fort Thomas (Dec. 21), and 54-28 over Valley Union (Jan. 6).

The losses were 30-68 to Saint David (Nov. 30), 47-51 to Winkelman Hayden (Dec. 7), 43-48 in overtime to Saint David (Dec. 20), and 32-36 to Safford (Dec. 22).

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Duncan head coach Eldon Merrell offers some advice during a time out.

Conlon Jensen was named to the honor team of the recently completed 3-day 58th Eastern Arizona Holiday Tourney.

Additionally, the Scarlet and Gray have a free throw percentage of 58 (104-178) compared to 51 (99-193) by its combined opponents.

Individually, freshman Isaac Harris has a percentage of 83 (5-6), senior Conlon Jensen 73 (58-79), junior Brody Waters 56 (14-25), junior Benjamin Harris 50 (7-14), junior Artie Lemons 50 (1-2), senior Austin Bigler 44 (7-16), junior Gary Najar 36 (5-14), and junior Logan Basteen 32 (7-22).

Senior Tucker Reynolds, junior Bryant Rapier, and freshman Ricky Workman have not attempted free throws.

Duncan – 54, Valley Union – 28

Valley Union jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the opening 38 seconds, Duncan bounced back 9-5 in the ensuing 3:40 to tie at 9-9, had a final 15-16 deficit with 3:03 left in the second quarter, and a Jensen 3-pointer 32 seconds later gave the Wildcats the lead for good. Duncan had a 23-17 halftime advantage.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Benjamin Harris goes down to retrieve the ball and passes it to an open teammate.

The Blue Devils got within three, 23-20, 11 seconds elapsed in the second half, but the Wildcats went on an 18-0 run to close out the third quarter, leading 41-20.

Valley Union outscored Duncan 5-4 during the final 2:45, but the Wildkats had a 27-point advantage, 50-23, 13 seconds earlier.

Duncan scored on 20 field goals (six 3-pointers) plus 8-19 free throws compared to 11 field goals (four 3-pointers) plus 2-10 free throws by Valley Union.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Isaac Harris is forced out of bounds with an official on top of the play.

Jensen contributed a game-high 22 points on seven field goals (four 3-pointers) plus 4-8 free throws and Najar 11 on five field goals (one 3-pointer) plus 0-2 free throws. Basteen added 7 points, Benjamin Harris 6, Waters 5, and Isaac Harris had 3.

Valley Union got 13 points from junior Giovanni Ruiz on five field goals (three 3-pointers). Senior John Guzman added 7 points, junior Lairus Two Moons 4, junior Will Smith 2, and freshman Steven De La Cruz, and senior Jesus Valenzuela had 1 apiece.