Wildkats win their initial game, head to Cibecue

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Duncan sophomore guard Janye Eddy drives to the basket for a layup against the Academy of Tucson on Dec. 6. The Wildkats posted a 43-26 win for the initial one of the season.

By Raymundo Frasquillo

DUNCAN – The Eric Bejarano-coached Duncan Wildkats added a “W” to their record, defeating the Academy of Tucson Lynx 43-28 in Duncan Dec. 6. It was the first win in five games, following losses of 45-17 to Valley Union in Elfrida Nov. 26, 33-23 to Bowie / San Simon Duncan on Nov. 27, 41-8 to Tucson Immaculate Heart in Duncan Nov. 29, and 41-28 toWinkelman Hayden in Duncan Dec. 4.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Duncan senior forward Katelyn Stergion, left, and guard Melissa Claridge move in to double-team the ball.

Thirteen Wildkats are out for the first-year DHS girls coach, an increase of five from the first week ofcompetition. The roster includes four seniors, two juniors, four sophomores,and three freshmen.

None of the Wildkats have averaged double-digit scoring, but the players are working at it. Melissa Claridge is averaging 9.4 (47) points per game.

The Wildkats have a combined free throw shooting percentage of 41 (26-64) compared to 45 (31-69) for their opponents through five games.

Individually, senior Melissa Claridge has a percentage of 58 (14-24), senior Payton Damron 50 (6-12), seniors Delanie Claridge and Katelyn Stergion both 33 (1-3), freshman Kiley McGrath 29(2-7), sophomore Loren Basteen 25 (1-4), freshman Kierra Lacey 20 (1-5), juniorMorgan Billingsley 0-2, and sophomore Janye Eddy 0-6.

Senior Britni Avant, junior Kaktys Garcia, sophomore Angel Benavidez, and freshman Oniah Jensen have notattempted any free throws.

Duncan (1-4 overall, 1-4 seeding, 0-0 1A East Region) heads to Cibecue (3-4-1, 2-1, 1-0) for a non-region contest with the Wildcats Saturday, Dec. 8. The region counter is in Duncan on Dec. 21.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Senior Payton Damron gets a step on her opponent and looks to shoot the ball.

Duncan – 43, Academy of Tucson – 26

The Wildkats led 19-5 after the opening period, 30-10 at halftime and 40-24 at the start of the final period. The Scarlet and Gray scored in double figures during three of the four periods compared to one of four for the visitors. It was something the Wildkats had not seen on the scoreboard this season.

Duncan totaled 19 field goals plus 5-20 free throws versus 9 field goals (two 3-pointers) plus 6-21 free throws by the Lynx.

Eight of 12 Wildkats contributed scoring with three in double figures. Damron had 12 points and the Claridge sisters 10 apiece. Stergion added four points, Billingsley, Eddy, and Lacey two each, and Basteen one.

For the Lynx, five of six players scored with none having more than eight points.

Hayden – 41, Duncan – 28

The visiting Lobos had double-digit scoring in two of four periods while the Wildkats were limited to single digits in each period. Hayden led by a 2-to-1 ratio, 28-14, at halftime and 32-21 heading into the final period.

Duncan got 10 field goals (two 3-pointers) plus 6-19 free throws versus 17 field goals (two 3-pointers) plus 5-14 free throws by Hayden.

Four Wildkats scored with Damron getting 12 points and Melissa Claridge 11. Delanie Claridge added three points and Jensen two.

Six of nine Lobos scored with Clarissa Gonzales netting 14 points and Sarrah Perez 12. Four others divided the remaining 15 points.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Sophomore Loren Basteen shots a free throw against the Lynx.

Immaculate Heart – 41, Duncan – 8

Duncan trailed by 10, 14-4 following the opening period, by 21, 25-4, at halftime, and 28, 35-7 at the start of the fourth period. The visitors put up double-digit scoring in three of four periods compared to none by the Wildkats.

Three of eight Wildkats scored, Stergion five points, Melissa Claridge two, and Lacey one.

Five of seven Knights scored with Emily Haynes getting 10 points. Four others contributed 31 pointswith none getting fewer than five.

Bowie / San Simon – 33, Duncan – 23

Duncan jumped out to a 13-8opening period advantage and led 19-16 at halftime. However, a 17-4 Cougars’ second-half outing helped spell defeat for the Wildkats.

Melissa Claridge netted 13 points, Lacey eight, and Stergion two.

Seven of 11 Cougars scored with junior Nyomi Hernandez getting 16 points.

Valley Union – 45, Duncan – 17

The Wildkats trailed 14-2 following the opening period and 30-6 at halftime in the season opener. Duncanwas outscored 15-11 in the second half.

Melissa Claridge netted 11 points and McGrath six.

Ten of 14 Blue Devils scored with sophomore Victoria Armijo getting 14 points and senior Meli Villareal 10.

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