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The Camp Verde High School girls basketball team won its fourth straight contest Friday, Jan. 20, defeating Orme High School on its own home court, 58-2.

Cowboys player Donnie Buss calls out instructions to her teammates during a game in Cottonwood against Mingus Union High School on Thursday, Jan. 19.“What’s been nice about these last few games is everyone has been contributing. You can’t really point to one girl or another; everyone is stepping up,” Camp Verde Head Coach Mark Showers said.

Junior guard Amanda Showers led all Camp Verde scorers with 13 points while adding four steals and three assists to her stat line.

Junior forward Katie Wilson scored 10 points and had seven rebounds, two steals and two assists in the 56-point victory.

After winning the Yvonne Johnson Memorial Invitational tournament to end 2011, Camp Verde lost back-to-back games against Prescott and Bradshaw Mountain high schools to start 2012.

Since the 37-30 loss to Bradshaw Mountain on Jan. 10, Camp Verde beat Mayer High School twice, Mingus Union High School on Thursday, Jan. 19, and then Orme on Friday.

“The Mingus game was one of the most fun games I think our whole team had this season. We ran our offenses well and played pretty good defense,” junior Donnie Buss said.

Buss had 21 points, one rebound and one assist in the 54-20 victory over rival Mingus on Thursday.

Senior Lila Hickey had 12 points, five rebounds, five blocked shots and four steals against Mingus while Showers had 11 points, three assists and two steals.

Against Orme on Friday, Hickey had eight points and seven rebounds while junior Marissa Flores had eight points, seven rebounds and three steals. Sophomore Maddie Showers chipped in seven points and six rebounds.

“This group of girls did a nice job for us in these last two games. Two road games in a row, and one against a rival, is never easy,” Mark Showers said.

With the victories, Camp Verde improves to 18-5 overall this season and is ranked No. 17 in the Division III Arizona Interscholastic Association power point poll, which was released Monday, Jan. 23.

Camp Verde was in action again Tuesday, Jan. 24, when it played host to Mingus. Results were unavailable at press time.

Next up, Camp Verde travels to Bradshaw Mountain on Friday, Jan. 27. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

For the first time since the 2004-2005 season, the Mingus Union High School boys basketball team won four straight games, capped off by an impressive 70-50 win over rival Sedona Red Rock High School on Friday, Jan. 20.

Marauders Sergio Romero, left, and Tyler Herndon put  defensive pressure on Camp Verde High School’s Johnny Hudson during a home game Thursday, Jan. 19. Mingus won 52-44. On Tuesday, Jan. 24, Mingus lost to Camp Verde 66-52.The four-game winning streak came to an end Tuesday, Jan. 24, as the Camp Verde High School Cowboys shot 51 percent from the field to go on and win, 66-52.

“Camp Verde was the better team tonight. They defended, rebounded and made shots all night whereas we only managed to do so in small spurts,” first-year Mingus Head Coach Mark Owens said.

Camp Verde’s Johnny Hudson had 25 points, seven rebounds and four assists while Jake Spleiss added 18 points and 11 rebounds as the Marauders found it tough to play in Camp Verde on Tuesday.

Alex Brewer led the Marauders with 15 points and 11 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough as Camp Verde led 28-19 at halftime to begin the game.

Mingus picked it up in the second half, outscoring the Cowboys 21-20 in the third quarter, but Camp Verde came back to outscore the Marauders 17-12 to go on and win, 66-52.

“I’m proud of how our kids played. Our team defense has been much improved as of late and Johnny Hudson’s aggressiveness is good to see,” Camp Verde Head Coach Darren Gagnon said.

With the loss, Mingus drops its record to 8-16 overall this season with three games to go on the schedule.

Mingus is set to travel to Mohave High School on Saturday, Jan. 28. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

The Mingus Union High School wrestling team traveled south to Tucson on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 13 and 14, to participate in the Flowing Wells Invitational Tournament.

Mingus Union High School wrestler Hank Goettl, right, works toward his win during a home wrestling meet against Prescott High School on Jan. 11.Mingus finished 23rd overall out of 38 schools with 62.50 points. Ironwood Ridge High School took the top prize, taking first overall with 175.50 points. Cibola High School was second with 165.50 points while Sunnyside High School wrapped up the top three with 148 points.

“It was a really big tournament, but I think we wrestled better in Peoria the weekend before. I was hoping for better results, but the next two weeks we’ll need to get healthy for our sectional and state competitions,” Mingus Head Coach Klint McKean said.

Top performances for the Marauders at Flowing Wells High School this past weekend included junior Hank Goettl, who took fifth overall with a 5-2 record and one pin in the 132-pound weight division.

Senior Dillon Lightfoot, who was wrestling at 152 pounds, took sixth overall with a 4-3 record and no pins.

Finishing one win from placement was 160-pound senior Justin Zaske, who was 4-2, while senior Brandon Morales was 4-2 as well at 170 pounds. Senior Pal Scott finished 3-2 in the 106-pound weight division.

“Justin [Zaske] was actually seeded first, but had some back issues and wasn’t able to finish at the top in his weight class,” McKean said.

McKean added his team needs to get healthy over the next two weeks if the Marauders are to have a chance at state in February.

Mingus lost to Prescott High School on Jan. 11 due to giving up 18 points before even beginning because the Marauders didn’t have a wrestler for three different weight classes.

Mingus is scheduled to participate in two more regular season events, the first coming Wednesday, Jan. 18, at Sunnyslope.

On Wednesday, Jan. 25, the Marauders will go to Bradshaw Mountain High School for a dual meet, which is the regular season finale.

The Section I [Division III] Championships are scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Feb. 3 and 4, at Winslow High School. The Division III State Championships are set for Friday and Saturday, Feb. 10 and 11, at Tim’s Toyota Center in Prescott Valley.

The Camp Verde Middle School boys basketball team tallied another victory in the win column this season Jan. 11, defeating visiting West Sedona School, 39-25.

Reyes Herrera, No. 55, puts up points for Camp Verde Middle School during a home game against West Sedona School on Jan. 11. The Cowboys won, 39-25.“Yeah, I thought we played really good. The last few games we’ve had some good outcomes and we’re getting toward the end of the season, meaning we are playing well at the right time,” Camp Verde Head Coach Donnie Shanks said after he was asked how he thought his team played against the rival Wildcats.

Camp Verde’s win improved the Cowboys to 7-4 overall this season. With the victory, the Cowboys assure themselves a No. 2 or No. 3 seed heading into the Verde Valley Athletic Association Small Schools Tournament at the end of January.

“We played hard and we did a good job against West Sedona,” Shanks said.

Eighth-grader Ashton Loring scored a game-high nine points for the Cowboys while seventh-grade teammate Reyes Herrera scored eight points. Seventh-grade teammates Beau Bullard and Deon Fortune each chipped in with six points.

Camp Verde started off well Jan. 11, outscoring the Wildcats 14-2 in the first quarter of play. West Sedona mounted a small comeback in the second quarter, outscoring the Cowboys 12-5 to trail 19-14 at halftime. Camp Verde’s 14-6 third quarter outburst was the turning point, however, as the Cowboys went on to win, 39-25.

Shanks and his Cowboys were in action again Tuesday, Jan. 17, when they hosted Mayer Middle School in the regular season finale. Results were unavailable at press time.

Beaver Creek School currently holds the No. 1 seed in the VVAA, while Clarkdale-Jerome School, Oak Creek School and Camp Verde are all going for the No. 2 seed in the small schools tournament.

The VVAA Small Schools Tournament is scheduled to take place Friday and Saturday, Jan. 27 and 28, at Clarkdale-Jerome.

Camp Verde went 0-2 against Beaver Creek, which is currently undefeated in league play at 12-0 while going 1-1 against Clarkdale-Jerome and Oak Creek.

“The Oak Creek loss a few days ago was a heartbreaker for me, really. The boys played so well and we just lost it in the end,” Shanks said.

Camp Verde’s first-round opponent in the VVAA Small Schools Tournament has yet to be determined.

The Marauders got their sixth straight win this past weekend in soccer, turning away Page High School in a 4-0 victory at home Saturday, Jan. 7.

Mingus Union High School, which improved to 6-1 overall this season after the 4-nil win Saturday, bumped up its state ranking to No. 7 overall in Division III.

No. 19 Austin Strobel’s deft footwork adds to the Marauders’ mission of shutting down the Sand Devils during a home match Saturday, Jan. 7. Mingus Union High School won the game against Page High School, 4-0.“Our coach said at the beginning of the year that we have to win the games we are supposed to, and so far we have done that,” Marauders team co-captain Austin Strobel said. “It’s been a good season and we hope to keep it that way. Winning feels good and we hope to continue to make it a habit.”

The Marauders took a 1-0 lead near the 20-minute mark when sophomore midfielder Cristian Escobar netted a score off an assist from senior Williams Dominguez.

It was the first of three goals for Escobar against Page, recording his first hat trick of the 2011-2012 campaign.

Escobar scored twice more in the second half against the Sand Devils, each of which was assisted by Dominguez. The three assists by Dominguez were a season high for the senior midfielder.

Scoring the fourth goal of the afternoon against Page for the Marauders was freshman midfielder Elias Pondeca off an assist from junior Braeden Wills, making it 4-0, which was the final.

The Marauders have been on quite a roll recently, winning six straight, but more importantly, dominating offensively.

In the three matches against Joy Christian Academy, Coconino and Page high schools, the Marauders outshot their opponents 75-11, outscoring them 14-1.

“We’ve really pounded the goal these last few matches, and Coconino was our first true test since the beginning of the season,” Mingus Head Coach Cade Densmore said.

Mingus and Coconino were tied 1-1 on Friday, Jan. 6, before the Marauders claimed a victory in penalty kicks after 100 minutes of soccer.

Mingus senior and co-captain Alex Contreras believes the Marauders are only going to get better.

“We’re on a great streak these last few games, and we are doing the right thing and we’re getting better every day. If we continue to put the ball in the back of the net, we can finish the season on a long winning streak,” Contreras said.

Next up for Mingus, the Marauders are scheduled to host Prescott High School on Thursday, Jan. 12. It is the first of two meetings against the Badgers for Mingus.

Prescott is currently a perfect 3-0 to begin the 2011-2012 season in Arizona Interscholastic Association power point play. Official start time is set for 5 p.m.

The Camp Verde High School boys basketball team got its biggest win of the season Friday, Jan. 6, upsetting the visiting Badgers of Prescott High School, 54-52.

“I thought we showed good patience and good ball control. We handled their press, and we made them play more of our game,” senior big man Jake Spleiss said after the game Friday.

Senior Jake Spleiss, No. 24, stretches past the height of the Prescott High School defense during a home game Friday,  Jan. 6.Down 51-49 with 1:16 to go in the game, junior Jacob Lewis was given a technical foul for shouting at a referee, claiming he was fouled on a play.

Prescott senior Tyler Toth hit one of the two technical foul free throws, giving his team a 52-49 lead.

With 44 seconds to go, Spleiss hit a jumper to cut the Badgers’ lead, 52-51, then with 18 seconds left, Lewis went strong to the hole for a layup, giving the Cowboys a 53-52 lead they would not relinquish.

Lewis had 11 points and 12 rebounds to go along with his two assists. Spleiss had 11 points and 18 rebounds while senior jumper specialist Johnny Hudson had 11 points, five assists and two steals.

The key to the game for Camp Verde was 6-foot, 10-inch Prescott sophomore center Cameron Gilbert, who was in foul trouble the majority of the game against the Cowboys on Friday. Gilbert is easily the best player for Prescott, but he did not show it against Camp Verde.

In the first game on Dec. 6 when these two clubs met up, Prescott won at home with a 65-61 victory, and longtime Camp Verde Head Coach Darren Gagnon knew then his team could get a win Friday.

“We focused so well on our half-court defense tonight. The last time we played them, we had a few breakdowns and it killed us. This time, we were able to do much better,” Gagnon said. “Our goal was to keep them under 60 because they like to get up and down, so allowing 52 was a great job defensively for our kids.”

With the victory, Camp Verde improves to 9-8 overall this season. The Cowboys are ranked No. 26 in the Division III Arizona Interscholastic Association power point poll, which was released Sunday, Jan. 8.

In Section III [Division III], Camp Verde is ranked No. 6. The top eight move forward after the regular season is complete to play in the sectional tournament, which begins Wednesday, Feb. 8, at Willow Canyon High School.

If the season ended today, the Cowboys would play Parker High School, which is No. 3, in the sectional tournament.

Camp Verde was in action again Tuesday, Jan. 10, against Bradshaw Mountain High School. Results were unavailable at press time.

Next up, Camp Verde will host Mayer High School on Friday, Jan. 13. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

The Mingus Union High School boys basketball team lost a tough one at Prescott High School on Tuesday, Jan. 3, losing to the Badgers, 59-48.

Junior Rashonn Montgomery, No. 3, goes to the hole in a game Dec. 20. Montgomery scored 20 points to lead the Mingus Union High School boys basketball team Tuesday, Jan. 3, against Prescott High School. “Our kids have come a long ways,” first-year Mingus Head Coach Mark Owens said. “We’ve already exceeded last year’s wins total and when you take a step back, it’s borderline inspirational.”

Owens, who was quite positive after an 11-point loss, was proud of his Marauders for playing as well as they did Tuesday.

Junior Rashonn Montgomery scored 20 points to lead the Marauders while junior Alex Brewer had 10 points and eight rebounds in the loss.

Coming off the bench, senior Luke Sanders contributed, scoring four points and recording four blocks as a reserve post player for Mingus.

Prescott jumped out to a 18-6 lead after the first quarter, and at one point, Mingus was down 11-0 to begin the game.

The two teams tied in the second quarter at 14-14, giving the Badgers a 32-20 lead at the half. Mingus trailed 44-28 after three quarters but outscored Prescott 21-15 in the fourth to bring the score just a bit closer.

“We played well after being down 11-0 to start. After that, we traded baskets with them the rest of the game. The kids played hard and competed. They executed our game plan. Sure, we weren’t able to get a win, but the kids are coming along,” Owens said.

With the loss, Mingus drops its overall record to 4-12 this season and is 1-5 in Arizona Interscholastic Association power point play.

Next up, Mingus is scheduled to host Bradshaw Mountain High School on Friday, Jan. 6. Bradshaw Mountain is coming off an 81-53 victory over Sedona Red Rock High School on Tuesday. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

The Camp Verde High School girls basketball team won the 14th annual Yvonne Johnson Memorial Shootout last week, defeating Joy Christian Academy in the title game, 63-48.

Senior center Lila Hickey, No. 40, shoots a jumper. The Camp Verde High School girls basketball team went 4-0 at the tournament, defeating Joy Christian Academy in the title game, 63-48.“I actually thought they [Joy Christian] were the best team in the tournament, but they ended up being the third best because Seligman was really good, too,” longtime Camp Verde Head Coach Mark Showers said.

Senior center Lila Hickey scored 28 points and pulled 11 rebounds in the tournament championship game Dec. 28 to lead the Cowboys. Junior forward Katie Wilson had nine points, nine rebounds and four assists in the victory.

With the tournament championship trophy sitting nicely in a case in Showers’ office, the Cowboys improved to 14-3 overall this season.

In the tournament semifinals Dec. 28, the Cowboys were paired with Seligman High School and wound up winning a close one, 48-46.

Junior guard Amanda Showers had 17 points, six steals and two assists in the victory while Hickey had eight points and eight rebounds.

Wilson scored only six points but pulled a season-high and personal best 18 rebounds against Seligman.

“This was a team in Seligman that had a legitimate post player,” Mark Showers said. “They packed it in defensively and dared us to shoot from the outside, and we struggled with that a bit.”

Camp Verde didn’t have a problem at the free-throw line, hitting 14 of 20 including Wilson’s two free throws to seal the deal at the end of the game.

On Dec. 27, Camp Verde won two games to get itself into the championship bracket, defeating Mogollon High School 66-20 and Parker High School, 56-36, giving the Cowboys a perfect 4-0 record at their own tournament.

In 14 years, the Cowboys have won eight Yvonne Johnson Memorial Tournament championships. Hickey and Amanda Showers were awarded All-Tournament team medals for their stellar performances.

Next up, the Cowboys are set to travel to Prescott High School on Friday, Jan. 6. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.

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