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GC boys whip<br>’Lopes in key game

GC VILLAGE — The Grand Canyon High School boys basketball team won a key conference game on the road on Dec. 21 to up their 1A North Region record to 3-2 on the season.

Richardson Tisi scored 12 points in a big game at Seligman.

The Phantoms, who have had their problems against the Antelopes in recent years, put together one of the most memorable second-half performances ever by turning a close game into a rout. Seligman led 14-13 after the first quarter, but in the second, the Phantoms began to find a groove.

"The key to the game was that they went to a box-and-one and this time, other players stepped up and hit their shots when Mitch (Walker) got them the ball," Grand Canyon coach Dan Lopez said.

Grand Canyon had taken a 35-30 lead by halftime but really began to take control in the third quarter.

"We came out very intense to start the third quarter and never let up," Lopez said. "It was the best effort of this year so far. This was a big conference road win and the kids were elated that we finally beat Seligman."

By the end of the third quarter, the Phantoms held a 12-point lead. The roof fell in on the Antelopes in the fourth quarter as Grand Canyon ended up with a 24-point victory.

GCHS senior Mitchell Walker had another fine performance with a triple double — 31 points, 18 rebounds and 13 assists. But it was the supporting cast that ended up being the difference.

Tempy Walker, freshman, finished with 22 points while Richardson Tisi, sophomore, scored 12 and Mike Vincent, senior, added 10. It was the first time this season the Phantoms had four players in double figures.

Richard Alvarado led Seligman with 24 points while John Cothrun added 13.

The following day, an exceptional Class 2A Mayer ballclub posted a 90-68 victory over Grand Canyon in a nonconference matchup.

The Phantoms actually played well most of the way and trailed by a mere 10 points heading into the fourth quarter. But Mayer’s deep bench and big lineup was too much. Plus, the Wildcats made 16-of-21 free throws in the second half while Grand Canyon had only five attempts from the foul line in those two quarters.

"Our kids really raised the level of their game and even though it was a loss, it proved to our team that we can play with anyone," Lopez said. "It was a good confidence booster going into the holidays."

The Wildcats put the game out of reach in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter.

"They went into a 1-2-2 half-court press starting in the fourth quarter and scored eight straight points before I could get a timeout," Lopez said. "We broke the press three times for layups but missed them and they would go down and score."

The free throws were a key part of the game. In all, the Phantoms made 9-of-13 compared to 21-for-27 by Mayer.

"We both played an aggressive man-to-man so I don’t understand the disparity in free throws in the second half," Lopez said. "But that is life on the road."

The Walker brothers accounted for 84 percent of Grand Canyon’s points. Mitchell Walker led the way with 36 points while Tempy Walker scored 23, which included 21 in the second half and five three-pointers.

Stephen Soriano led Mayer with 30 points while Joe Bassett scored 20, James Harding had 16 and Austin Jackson had 13.

Grand Canyon (3-2 in region, 6-8 overall) will host Ash Fork Friday at 7 p.m. and play at St. Michael on Saturday.

w/ photo

Brad Fuqua/GCN

Richardson Tisi scored 12 points in a big game at Seligman.

Summaries

GRAND CANYON 83, SELIGMAN 57

Dec. 21 at Seligman

Scoring by quarters:

Grand Canyon 13 22 17 31—83

Seligman 14 16 10 17—57

Grand Canyon Scoring:

Tempy Walker 10 0-0 22, Mike Vincent 4 2-2 10, Kendall Kachinhongva 1 0-2 2, Miles Hunter 1 0-1 2, Mitchell Walker 10 8-10 31, Richardson Tisi 3 5-6 12, Robert Stickler 2 0-0 4. Totals 31 15-21 83.

Three-point goals: M. Walker 3, T. Walker 2, Tisi.

MAYER 90, GRAND CANYON 68

Dec. 22 at Mayer

Scoring by quarters:

Grand Canyon 14 16 26 12—68

Mayer 17 19 30 24—90

Grand Canyon Scoring:

Tempy Walker 9 0-0 23, Nate Bitsui 1 1-2 3, Miguel Davila 1 0-0 2, Miles Hunter 0 0-2 0, Mitchell Walker 13 6-7 36, Richardson Tisi 0 2-2 2, Robert Stickler 1 0-0 2. Totals 25 9-13 68.

Three-point goals: T. Walker 5, M. Walker 4.

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