Steve Carter Photo/Special to the Gila Herald: Damare Dosela goes for 2 of his game-high 18 points as Fort Thomas defeated Valley Lutheran 65-40 in the opening round of the 1A East/Copper Boys Basketball Super Regional Tournament on Thursday.
By Jon Johnson
FORT THOMAS – The No. 7 Fort Thomas Apaches (8-2 1A Copper, 17-9 overall) easily dispatched the Valley Lutheran Flames 65-40 in the opening round of the 1A East/Copper Boys Basketball Super Regional Tournament on Thursday.
The Apaches will now host the Mogollon Mustangs (5-5 1A Copper, 11-13 overall) in the second round at Fort Thomas High School on Friday, starting at 5:30 p.m. The No. 13 Mustangs upset the No. 8 Cicero Prep Centurions 68-63 in the opening round.
The Apaches are on a collision course for a third match against either the No. 10 Joseph City Wildcats or No. 6 Hayden Lobos. The Apaches split with both teams in the regular season, with The Fort winning the most recent contests.
Fort Thomas fell to Joseph City 78-82 on Dec. 16, 2022, and beat the Wildcats 68-60 on Jan. 24. The Apaches fell to the Lobos 52-59 on Jan. 4, and got their revenge 78-66 on Jan. 19.
Fort Thomas 65 Valley Lutheran 40
The game wasn’t even as close as the double-digit win suggests as The Fort cruised comfortably and played the mercy-rule fourth period with its reserves.
Damare Dosela leads a cadre of four freshmen who contribute to the Apaches’ success, the others including twins Justin and Michael Olivar, and Channing Wilson.
Dosela torched the flames for 18 points on 50 percent shooting from the field (4-4 free-throws) and added 6 rebounds and 5 assists on the night.
Justin Olivar and Channing Wilson both poured in 7 points and 4 rebounds each.
Not to let the freshman have all the fun, seniors Jayshawn Rambler (13 points) and Tyler Black (12 points) had big nights as well. Rambler went 3-7 from deep and had 3 assists and 3 steals to help fill up his stat line. Black also helped spread the ball around with 3 assists and 2 steals.
Rambler leads the team on the season for points per game (16.9), rebounds (6.1), and steals (2.9), according to stats reported by MaxPreps.
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1A East/Copper Girls Basketball Super Regional Tournament
On the girls’ side of things, No. 4 Fort Thomas (8-2 1A Copper, 23-6 overall) easily defeated No. 34 Cicero Prep 62-7 in the opening round on Thursday at Fort Thomas.
The Apaches will now travel to face the No. 11 Lincoln Prep Lightning on Friday, starting at 6 p.m. The game will be played at Lincoln Preparatory Academy at 2250 S. Gilbert Rd. in Chandler.
The Fort won their only regular-season pairing with Lincoln Prep 45-26 on Nov. 22, 2022 – the first game of the season.