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Wed, Aug. 12

Teams can't write off Lady Phantoms

Opponents can no longer write off their games with the Lady Phantoms as a walk in the park, where they just show up and win big.

When the varsity girls scrimmaged the Ash Fork Spartans at the start of the season, they trailed 52-4 at halftime. But last Friday night at Ash Fork, the much-improved girls team had narrowed the halftime gap to 22-15 against the same Spartan team.

The ladies used a physical double and triple team defense on the Spartans' 6-foot, 4-inch center Jaime Jackson, limiting her to 11 first half points and cutting off her second and third shot opportunities.

The second half turned out to be a different story as Jackson wore down the young Phantoms inside players, scoring 20 points on her way to a 31-point performance.

Compounding the mismatch were the Phantoms' shooting woes in the second half that resulted in only one field goal and two free throws. The Ash Fork girls slowly pulled away, winning 54-19.

Despite the final score, Head Coach Dan Lopez, was very upbeat about his team's performance.

"I think the most important aspect of this game is that we continue to grow and improve as a team. Jackson is a senior and is a very physical player and our girls came out intense and aggressive in our defensive approach," he said. "We have three freshman, two sophomores and two juniors post players that, despite the height and weight advantage, never backed down. We are moving in the right direction."

Although the Phantoms only scored 4 points in the second half, Lopez was philosophical about the lack of production.

"Fundamentally our weakest area has been scoring and tonight, even though we only scored 4 points, we got good looks at the basket, our shots just didn't fall. A month ago we couldn't run our offense to even get shots and now we have players getting open looks and getting good shots. We just keep getting better and I think that is a tribute to the girls' commitment to the program and how hard they work."

Senior guard Lindsay Haswood, led the Phantoms with 12 and was the only one to score in the second half.

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