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The Camp Verde High School track and field team hosted its first meet of the season Saturday, March 24, in the seventh annual Matt Showers Memorial Invitational.

Senior Trent Fogelson, middle, a senior on the Camp Verde High School track and field team, hangs in the middle of the pack before moving his feet to a third-place finish in the 800-meter run at the Matt Showers Memorial Invitational on Saturday, March 24.For the girls, Camp Verde took first overall, squeaking by Wickenburg High School for a gold medal by scoring 128 points, one more than the Wranglers’ 127 points for the meet.

Sophomore Shelby Monroe was one of the last Cowboys to compete Saturday, finishing fourth overall in the triple jump, which gave the Cowboys the two points they needed to finish first overall.

For the full story, pick up a copy of the Wednesday, March 28, edition of the Camp Verde Journal.

The Cowboys hosted rival Mingus Union High School in their home opener Thursday, March 1, but with starting pitcher Gavin Collins’ early struggles to find the strike zone, the Marauders came out on top, 6-2.

Camp Verde High School’s Doug Ashley, left, tags out a base runner early in the Cowboys first home game of the baseball season.“The Mingus pitcher threw well. He shut us down for most of the game. Mingus is a tough team. This game showed us where we need to get to in order to compete with these teams [bigger schools],” Camp Verde High School baseball Head Coach Steve Hicks said.

Mingus’ Tyler Herndon pitched a complete game, going seven innings while allowing only four hits and two runs, and striking out 12 and walking only two in the victory.

Collins managed to go five innings, allowing only two hits, but he walked eight Marauders batters. He gave up six runs, two of which were earned, and struck out eight in the 6-2 loss.

Mingus jumped out on top 2-0 in the top of the first inning and scored three more in the top of the second to go up 5-0. Camp Verde tallied its two runs in the fifth to make it 6-2, which was the final.

At the plate for Camp Verde, the Cowboys collected only four hits and two walks while striking out 11 times.

Catcher Andy Minner was 1-3 while center fielder Kody Rayburn was 1-4 with an RBI. Michael Casillas was 1-3 with an RBI as well. Doug Ashley got the only other hit for Camp Verde and was 1-3. Kyle Lobaugh and Billy Wilson each scored a run while Josh Benson walked twice.

For Mingus, Herndon was 2-4 with a run scored while Evan McFarland was 1-4 with an RBI. Luke Simmons was 1-3 with an RBI and a run scored. Andrew Garcia was 1-2 with a run scored.

The Marauders improved to a perfect 5-0 on the season with the 6-2 win over rival Camp Verde while the Cowboys dropped to 3-2 overall.

“Our kids never gave up. Each at bat was a quality at bat, and in the later innings we started to make some noise. A hit here or there, and it’s a tight game. Gavin [Collins] started out wild for the first three innings, but then when he settled down he was very effective. Hopefully this game showed us the work we have to do. This is a good group of boys with good senior leadership. If we can keep battling like we did this game good things will happen,” Hicks said.

Camp Verde was in action again Tuesday, March 6, when it played host to Northland Preparatory Academy. Results were unavailable at press time.

Next up, the Cowboys travel to Bullhead City to participate in the Route 66 Classic on Thursday, March 8. The tournament is scheduled to run through Saturday, March 10.

A dream season came to a sudden end Friday, Feb. 24, at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale as the Cowboys were unable to fend off Page High School in the state semifinals, losing 60-45.

Page went on to beat No. 7 Winslow High School for the Division III state title Saturday, Feb. 25, 46-38.

Head Coach Mark Showers, of Camp Verde High School, shows a little frustration on the sideline while watching his girls team play Friday, Feb. 24, at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale. The team lost to Page High School in the Division III state semifinals, 60-45.The loss brought tears of sadness and frustration as the girls basketball team from Camp Verde High School knew it was the end of the road for the Cowboys when the final buzzer sounded in front of over 6,000 fans.

“It was a tough loss but a great season. I was angry and sad at the same time, but then I realized how much fun I had throughout the season with the best team possible. I know that we could have done better because our tenacious defense slowed down in the last half,” junior Katie Wilson said.

Camp Verde won its first two games of the Division III state basketball tournament then beat No. 21 Chinle High School 49-37 on Feb. 21 to earn the right to play in the final four.

The Cowboys, ranked No. 13 heading into play Friday, outscored the Sand Devils 8-3 in the first quarter of play in front of several thousand Holbrook High School fans cheering for Page. Holbrook was slated to play in the game after Camp Verde and Page.

Junior Donnie Buss scored two quick baskets to put the Cowboys up 4-0, then senior center Lila Hickey added a bucket to put the Cowboys up 6-0.

Page didn’t score a basket until 1:37 left to go in the first quarter, making it an 8-3 affair.

In the second quarter, the Sand Devils outscored Camp Verde 13-9 but the Cowboys still led 17-16 at halftime.

The Sand Devils struggled from the field in the first half, but in the second half, Page outscored the Cowboys 44-28, hitting several three-point baskets along the way.

“I told my girls at halftime that they are the best shooting team in the state — now go out and prove it,” Page Head Coach Justin Smith said in an interview after the game Friday.

Led by senior Erin West, Page gave the Cowboys fits on both ends of the court and went on to win by the 15-point margin.

Foul trouble crept up on the Cowboys in the second half, which helped the Sand Devils’ cause. Camp Verde’s 21 turnovers against Page didn’t help either.

With 3:22 to go in the game and Camp Verde trailing 49-40, West hit another big three for the Sand Devils, which ended up being the dagger Page needed.

Standouts for Camp Verde included junior Amanda Showers, who had 13 points, five assists and two steals, while Hickey had 10 points and four rebounds. Buss had eight points and one assist while Wilson had four points and six rebounds.

With the loss to Page, the Cowboys wrap up the 2011-2012 season with a 27-8 overall record.

In a tournament where four of the top eight seeds lost Saturday, Feb. 18, the No. 13 Cowboys were a part of the upsets at the Walkup Skydome in Flagstaff, defeating No. 4-seeded Safford High School, 48-21.

Lila Hickey, No. 40, stretches full height above the diminutive Cortez High School players during a home court playoff game on Feb. 15. Camp Verde High School took the win easily, 56-31. The Cowboys went on to beat Safford High School in round two Saturday, Feb. 18, 48-21.The win advanced Camp Verde High School to the Division III quarterfinals Tuesday, Feb. 21, where it played No. 21 Chinle High School. Results at Tim’s Toyota Center in Prescott Valley were unavailable at press time.

“We’ve done well against the conventional basketball team, we match up well against them. Now it’s time to see how we do against an unconventional team,” longtime girls basketball Head Coach Mark Showers said.

Camp Verde opened state tournament play with an impressive 56-31 victory over No. 20 Cortez High School on Feb. 15.

At the Walkup Skydome on the campus of Northern Arizona University on Saturday, the Cowboys pulled off the third upset of the afternoon in their win over Safford.

The first upset came at noon when No. 11 Window Rock High School defeated No. 6 Holbrook High School, 64-50.

At 1:30 p.m., Chinle shocked No. 5 Thatcher High School, 50-41, and at 4:30 p.m., No. 3 Valley Sanders High School went down to No. 14 Tuba City High School, 69-53.

The Cowboys improved to 24-7 overall this season after beating Safford.

Camp Verde’s version of the big three did their jobs Saturday with juniors Donnie Buss and Amanda Showers each scoring 10 points while senior center Lila Hickey had 10 points, five rebounds and five blocked shots. Showers had five assists and two rebounds while Buss added three rebounds in the victory.

The Cowboys’ next opponent, Chinle will be quite a different ball game for Camp Verde since the Wildcats like to get up and down, press full court defensively and run on offense when they get the chance.

“This should be a fun ball game to watch. If we can get the ball up the floor and beat their press we’ll be just fine,” Mark Showers said.

Another key contributor to the win Saturday against the Safford Bulldogs was sophomore Maddy Showers who hit two big three-point baskets in the second quarter to help her Cowboys pull away.

Camp Verde led 8-5 after the first period but outscored the Bulldogs 17-4 in the second period to lead 25-9 at the half, a lead the Cowboys would hold for the win.

“Maddy [Showers] is starting to get her confidence.

She’s really come on strong here in the last three weeks, which is good for us,” Mark Showers said.

If the Cowboys were able to hold on for a win Tuesday against Chinle, Camp Verde would advance to the Division III state semifinals Friday, Feb. 24, at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale.

Camp Verde would play the winner out of No. 1 Page and No. 8 Buckeye high schools.

Tipoff for the state semifinals in Glendale is set for 6:15 p.m.

Without the services of senior Johnny Hudson for a third straight game, the Camp Verde High School boys basketball team almost coughed one up to the rival Scorpions on senior night Friday, Feb. 3.

Camp Verde Senior Jake Spleiss, right, and Sedona senior Chris Oestmann jump for the tipoff Friday, Feb. 3. The Camp Verde High School boys basketball team won a thriller over the Scorpions in overtime, 61-55. Camp Verde is 16-12 overall this season.Sedona Red Rock High School, which came into Friday’s contest looking to exact revenge on a 20-point loss from the week prior, took the Cowboys to overtime but Camp Verde held on to win, 61-55.

“The Sedona kids played very well. They’ve gotten so much better over the course of the season. They’ve really improved. They did a lot of good things, but we were able to hold them off,” longtime Camp Verde Head Coach Darren Gagnon said.

Hudson’s lower back injury hasn’t allowed him to play much over the past week. He did start his final home game Friday because of senior night, but he was pulled after taking one shot in 45 seconds of game play.

“I told him to bring his uniform, we’ll suit him up and start him, let him shoot the ball once, then call a timeout and get him out of there. I wanted him to have that experience of starting as a senior on senior night,” Gagnon said.

It turned out the Cowboys didn’t need him, but the Scorpions sure did make things interesting.

Camp Verde senior Jake Spleiss made sure things went his team’s way, however, scoring 18 points while pulling 17 rebounds and adding four assists in the close victory.

Senior Brian Hudson came up big for the Cowboys too, scoring 22 points while pulling seven rebounds and adding two assists. Sophomore Mitch Latham scored 10 points and had four rebounds.

Junior Jacob Lewis was a nonfactor in Friday night’s win due to foul trouble throughout the game.

In the first quarter, Sedona jumped out to a 6-0 lead, but the Cowboys went on a 13-2 run to close out the first period up 13-8.

Camp Verde led 27-21 at halftime and 38-33 after three but Sedona went on a 16-11 run in the fourth quarter to tie it at 49-49 at the end of regulation thanks to senior Bradley Cox, who had 16 points, and senior Ashor Samano, who had 12 points.

The Cowboys outscored Sedona 12-6 in overtime with Hudson scoring six and Spleiss scoring five in the final period.

With the win, Camp Verde wraps up the 2011-2012 regular season with a 16-12 overall record.

The Section III [Division III] Tournament is scheduled to begin Wednesday, Feb. 8, at Willow Canyon High School.

Camp Verde finished No. 27 overall in the Division III Arizona Interscholastic Association power point poll. The Cowboys earned the No. 7 seed in the Section III Tournament and will play No. 2 Fountain Hills High School.

“I’m very excited to get the playoffs going. We have a tough game ahead, but I think we will come to play,” Spleiss said.

Tipoff on Wednesday against Fountain Hills is set for 7:30 p.m.

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.

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.

Three-point baskets came aplenty at Sedona Red Rock High School on Saturday, Jan. 28, as the Cowboys hit nine from beyond the arc in a 65-45 rout over the rival Scorpions this past weekend.

Center Jake Spleiss, No. 24, goes up strong against a few Sedona Red Rock High School defenders Saturday, Jan. 28. The Cowboys took it to the rival Scorpions, winning 65-45 to improve to 14-11 overall this season.Although the rivalry didn’t have the flare of last year’s two contests, which saw both gymnasiums filled to the brim and each game coming down to the wire as they were decided by six points or fewer, the Camp Verde High School boys basketball team proved Saturday it was the better team.

“When you have multiple guys that can score and shoot, it’s good. In high school basketball you look at the open shots you get and if you can make them, and we did that against Sedona,” Camp Verde Head Coach Darren Gagnon said.

Camp Verde jumped out to a 23-10 lead after the first quarter of play and never looked back in the 65-45 thumping over the Scorpions.

The Cowboys not only did it on the offensive end Saturday, but the defensive end as well, holding the Scorpions to 33 percent shooting [16 of 49] on the afternoon.

With the win, Camp Verde improves to 14-11 overall this season and is 10-5 in Arizona Interscholastic Association power point play. The Cowboys are ranked No. 26 in Division III and are No. 7 in Section III [Division III]. The top eight seeds participate in the Section III Tournament in February.

As for Sedona, the Scorpions drop their record to 7-19 overall this season.

Senior Jake Spleiss led the Cowboys with 18 points, 12 rebounds and three steals, but it was the nine three-point baskets from Camp Verde that really separated the two teams.

“He’s a strong kid; he’s tough to stop. With three shooters and with Jake [Spleiss] in the post, we are a tough team to beat,” Gagnon said.

Senior Brian Hudson converted four three-point plays for 17 points, four rebounds and four assists, and fellow senior Johnny Hudson had two three-pointers of his own for a total of 10 points, two assists and two steals.

“We played really hard and having Johnny [Hudson] back in our lineup was huge,” Spleiss said. “We just have to handle the ball better and take better shot selection in transition, but when four guys score in double figures it really helps get the win.”

Hudson missed the Bradshaw Mountain High School game on Friday, Jan. 27, due to a bad back, but he returned Saturday against the Scorpions.

“It’s been getting worse and worse. He thinks maybe it’s a combination of weight lifting and playing. He’s been to the doctor and it’s just one of those things — when you get a back injury, you can’t screw around with it,” Gagnon said.

Junior Jacob Lewis was in the mix as well, scoring nine of his 13 points in the second quarter, all of which came from behind the arc. Lewis was a big reason the Cowboys led 42-18 at halftime at Sedona, which celebrated its seniors Saturday. Lewis had 10 rebounds and three assists as well in the victory.

“He’s a tougher kid to defend. He’s a bigger kid so there’s a bigger guy on him sometimes, and that gives us a different dynamic,” Gagnon said.

In the second half, Sedona outscored the Cowboys 27-23 but the damage had been done.

The Cowboys were in action again Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Coconino High School. Results were unavailable at press time.

Next up, Camp Verde is scheduled to host Orme High School on Wednesday, Feb. 1. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.

Camp Verde will host Sedona on Friday, Feb. 3, in the regular season finale for senior night. Tipoff against the Scorpions is set for 7 p.m.

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