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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.

The Mingus Union High School boys soccer team won its third straight contest Thursday, Dec. 22, throttling the visiting Wranglers, 8-1.

Sophomore Omar Carrillo works his way towards the goal Thursday, Dec. 22, against Wickenburg High School. The Marauders dominated, winning 8-1.“We scored a few goals in the first half, which allowed me to play a bunch of different guys in the second half to get some playing time,” Mingus Head Coach Cade Densmore said.

Mingus led 4-0 after the first 40 minutes of play, and it was easy to see the Marauders were a better team than Wickenburg High School.

Freshman midfielder Ruben Contreras began Mingus’ scoring in the 10th minute with a goal off an assist from sophomore Brennan Kitchen, making it 1-0 Marauders.

From then on, it was all Mingus. Sophomore Cristian Escobar made it 2-0 in the 21st minute after he kicked a rebound in to the back of the net.

Senior Williams Dominguez took a shot from about 20 yards out, it bounced off the gloves of the Wickenburg goalkeeper and Escobar kicked it through for the score.

Senior Austin Strobel scored Mingus’ third goal of the evening Thursday with a shot outside the box, making it 3-0. In the 36th minute, sophomore Talon Walz made it 4-0.

“Talon [Walz] was in the right place at the right time. He seems to have a knack for finding the net. I didn’t expect that from him this season,” Densmore said.

In the second half, Densmore substituted several bench players, who continued the barrage of shots against Wickenburg. Mingus had 33 total shots Thursday, 27 of which were on frame in the 8-1 victory.

Other goals scored for Mingus included senior Jorge Padilla, who scored two goals in the second half, while Escobar and Dominguez scored in the 79th minute to put the Wranglers away for good.

“We’ve got some good things happening. We just need to keep working hard,” Densmore said.

The Marauders will play the bulk of their schedule in January with 10 matches on the docket during the seasons’ final four weeks before state playoffs.

Mingus is 3-1 overall and ranked No. 29 in the Division III Arizona Interscholastic Association power point poll, which was released Tuesday, Dec. 27.

After the boys in red come back from Christmas break, the Marauders will open the second half of the season with four straight home matches. Mingus plays three of those home contests in three straight days.

The first home match is against Joy Christian Academy on Thursday, Jan. 5. Mingus makes up the Dec. 13 snow-out against Coconino High School on Friday, Jan. 6, and then hosts Page High School on Saturday, Jan. 7.

Joy Christian and Coconino are scheduled for a 5 p.m. start time while the match against Page is set for 2 p.m.

The match Thursday, Jan. 12, against Prescott High School is the last of the home matches for awhile. The Marauders will hit the road in five of the final six game dates.

In a 33-team tournament at Moon Valley High School on Dec. 16 and 17, the Camp Verde High School wrestling team finished fourth overall, the smallest school to place in the top five at the tournament.

Joel Lobaugh wins his match against a Bradshaw Mountain High School wrestler in the last few seconds on Dec. 9. Lobaugh went 7-2 overall at the Moon Valley Invitational on Dec. 16 and 17.“The team wrestled aggressively,” Camp Verde Head Coach Bob Weir said. “Every wrestler gave 100 percent on all their matches. We were the smallest school in the tournament and we did well.”

Corona Del Sol High School, a Division I program, finished first overall in the team standings while fellow Division I program Desert Vista High School was second. Horizon High School, a Division II school, finished third, while the Cowboys took fourth. Division II Moon Valley wrapped up the top five.

Top performances for the Cowboys at the Moon Valley Invitational included senior Michael Casillas, who finished 8-1 in the 106-pound weight class with five pins. His 8-1 record was good enough for second place overall.

Sophomore Isaiah McReynolds, who wrestles at 113 pounds, finished second overall with a 7-2 overall record in the field and five pins at the tournament.

“Isaiah [McReynolds] had a great tournament. He ended in a three-way tie for first in the pool and won it on a tiebreaker. He defeated the three state placers from last season,” Weir said.

Other notables from the Moon Valley Invitational for the Cowboys include 138-pound junior Heath Carroll, who was 8-2 with four pins, finishing fourth overall.

At 152 pounds, junior Joel Lobaugh took seventh overall with a 7-2 record and five pins while fellow junior Elmer Ruiz, who wrestled at 195 pounds in the tournament, was 7-3 with four pins to finish sixth.

Junior Anthony McBeth at 220 pounds did not place, but he finished with a 5-2 record and three pins in his pool. Senior Derrick Brown at 145 pounds did not place, but he was 5-2 with four pins.

“Tournaments like this will help prepare the team for the competitive level of the Division IV state tournament,” Weir said.

Next up for the Cowboys is the Steve Blackford Wrestling Tournament at Arizona State University on Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 28 and 29.

At ASU, the Cowboys will see 31 other teams wrestling in four pools of eight. The winners of each pool will wrestle in an eight-team bracket at Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe while the Sun Devils wrestling team competes at the same time.

“It will be a great opportunity for a small school to show talent and hard work, both of which our guys have,” Weir said.

No official start time was released for the tournament at ASU this week. Camp Verde will return home Wednesday, Jan. 11, for a six-way meet.

First match time for the tournament in Camp Verde is set for 3 p.m.

Sophomore Cristian Escobar’s hat trick pushed the Marauders to victory over newly found rival Sedona Red Rock High School at home Thursday, Dec. 15, 5-1.

Senior and team captain Alex Contreras, senior, steals control of the ball from a Sedona Red Rock High School pass during a Marauders home match Thursday, Dec. 15. The Marauders eventually won, 5-1, and improved to 2-1 overall this season.“We did some good things against Sedona [on Thursday], but there are a lot of things we still need work on,” Mingus Union High School boys soccer Head Coach Cade Densmore said. “So far, this team is a work in progress and we are not where we need to be just yet.”

Thursday’s match was all Marauders from the beginning as Escobar, a forward, gave Mingus a 2-0 lead through the first 40 minutes of play.

The first goal by Escobar came midway through the first half off a corner kick from senior midfielder Alex Contreras. Contreras lofted the ball just right, allowing Escobar to do a diving header, netting the ball for the score and a 1-0 lead.

No assist was needed in Escobar’s second goal as Sedona senior goalkeeper Kyle DeTar bobbled the ball in the box after a shot by Mingus and Escobar took full advantage to make it 2-0.

In the second half, Escobar made it 3-0 in the 49th minute while freshman Elias Pondeca made it 4-0 just minutes later on his first goal of the season. In the 75th minute, sophomore midfielder Talon Walz scored, putting the Scorpions away for good with a 5-1 win.

“The match went well. Even when we went up a few goals, we still played hard and didn’t let up,” senior captain Austin Strobel said. “We are starting to jell as a team and the season has just started. I’m excited to see what’s next.”

Although it’s only the third meeting between the two clubs, the first of which came in 2009, Mingus is a perfect 3-0 all-time against the Scorpions.

Sedona made the switch from the fall to the winter soccer season in 2008 but did not play Mingus that year.

In 2009, the two Verde Valley rivals met for the first time, with the Marauders coming out on top, 5-2. Last season, the two locked horns again, with Mingus winning, 2-0.

With the victory over the Scorpions on Thursday, the Marauders improved to 2-1 overall this season.

Mingus lost to Bradshaw Mountain High School to begin the season Nov. 29, 1-0, but turned around and beat the Bears the following week on Dec. 6, 2-1. The Coconino High School match that was originally scheduled for Dec. 13 has yet to be rescheduled.

According to Densmore, Mingus may play Coconino on Friday, Jan. 6, but that has yet to be officially announced by Athletic Director Mike Boysen.

Next up, Mingus welcomes the Wranglers of Wickenburg High School on Thursday, Dec. 22. It is the last match of 2011 for Mingus, which will begin the new year Thursday, Jan. 5, with a match against Joy Christian Academy.

Both the Wickenburg and Joy Christian games are scheduled for 5 p.m.

The Camp Verde High School boys basketball claimed its second straight victory at home Friday, Dec. 16, defeating the visiting Spartans of Northland Preparatory Academy, 60-45.

Jake Spleiss, No. 24, looks for his chance to take a shot during a home game against Northland Preparatory Academy on Friday, Dec. 16.“I was actually impressed with our second group of guys coming off the bench,” longtime Camp Verde Head Coach Darren Gagnon said. “Our team as a whole did a good job on offense. They moved the ball from side to side and looked for good shots. And the boys shot the ball well when they were open.”

Camp Verde shot 50 percent from the field Friday and was 7 of 17 from behind the arc to gain the advantage over a Spartans club that is known for its dead-eye shooting from the three-point line.

Senior Brian Hudson was outstanding, leading the Cowboys with 12 points, nine of which came from the three-point line. Hudson had three assists and one steal in the 60-45 win.

The Cowboys were up 11-10 at one point in the first quarter, and eventually took a 17-10 at the end of the period, leading Gagnon to believe Northland Preparatory was in town to get a win.

“They are a scrappy bunch. At one point it was 11-10 during a timeout and I could see then why they can give anyone fits,” Gagnon said.

The Spartans outscored Camp Verde 18-15 in the second quarter to cut the Cowboys’ lead to four at halftime, 32-28. Camp Verde came out hot in the third quarter, however, outscoring the Spartans 14-7 to take a 46-35 lead. From then on, Camp Verde outscored Northland Preparatory 14-10 in the fourth to go on and win, 60-45.

“The game was not great all around,” senior center Jake Spleiss said. “Not everyone put up big numbers but everyone put up numbers. We executed greatly in the second half, and our shots were falling.”

Spleiss had only four points but pulled 11 rebounds in the win. Other standouts included sophomore Marlon Onteveros who had 10 points, four rebounds, one steal and one assist while senior Johnny Hudson had 10 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals.

“I think when we came out, we played at their level and we should have started out playing at our level,” Hudson said.

With the victory, Camp Verde improves to 6-4 overall this season and 4-1 in Arizona Interscholastic Association power point play.

The Cowboys are ranked No. 31 in the AIA power point standings, which were released Monday, Dec. 19.

Camp Verde was in action once again Tuesday, Dec. 20, when it played host to Coconino High School. Results were unavailable at press time.

Next up, Camp Verde is scheduled to participate in the Bradshaw Mountain Invitational tournament over Christmas break.

The tournament at Bradshaw Mountain High School in Prescott Valley is scheduled to begin Monday, Dec. 26, and run through Wednesday, Dec. 28.

The Cowboys are paired with Rincon High School to begin the tournament Monday. Tipoff for the game has yet to be announced.

Camp Verde will return home Friday, Jan. 6, when it hosts the Badgers of Prescott High School. Tipoff against the Badgers is set for 7 p.m.

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