Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: Coy Miller dribbles behind his back to get past Willcox’s Alec Fuentes. Pima defeated Willcox 75-32 on Wednesday night.
By Jon Johnson
PIMA – The Pima Roughriders boys basketball team has ascended to the top of the 2A East Region after defeating Willcox 75-32 on Wednesday.
No. 5 Pima (3-0 region, 5-1 conference, 13-5 overall) bounced back from three tough losses against Thatcher (twice) and Trivium Prep to blow out its last three opponents to take command of the 2A East Region with seven region games left. Bisbee is also unbeaten in the region, but Pima gets the nod due to conference rankings at this point. Pima will visit Bisbee on Jan. 25 and host them on Feb. 1. No. 11 Willcox (1-1 region, 4-1 conference, 11-5 overall), will face Bisbee on Friday, Jan. 21.
Pima 75 Willcox 32
Right out the gate, Coy Miller was unstoppable in the first quarter. The junior guard was feeling it from deep and nailed three 3-pointers to lead him to a 14-point opening quarter. After hitting the first deep shot, Miller was keyed to shoot at a moment’s notice, including pulling up for a 3-pointer on the fast break – something usually seen at higher-level competition in college or pro ranks.
Miller’s first-quarter productivity – combined with a group of points from the frontcourt of Seth Russell and Garrett Curtis, elevated Pima to a 26-4 first-quarter lead and the game was essentially already over.
Pima continued to more than double Willcox’s scores in the second and third quarters to initiate the fourth-quarter running clock mercy rule.
Garrett Curtis scored consistently with a nice mid-range game to lead the Roughriders with 17 points on the night; he was followed by Miller with 14 (all in the first quarter); Russell had 13 points and 12 rebounds for a double-double; Grant Ashby had 11; Dallin Kartchner had 9, Nathan Skiba had 6; Leland Thompson and Wyatt Wiltbank both finished with 2, and Sam Ray had 1 point.
Joendy Ruiz and AJ Nuzzo led Willcox with 8 points each; they were followed by Josiah Sheats with 4; Braydon Brewer and Alec Fuentes with 3 points each; and Jacob Kauffman, Jacob Abarca, and Ryan McClaine all had 2 points each.
Pima will travel to face 2A San Pedro doormat No. 40 Tombstone on Friday, Jan. 21, starting at 7 p.m.