Camp Verde High School’s basketball teams went on a clean sweep as both the girls and boys teams beat Northland Preparatory Academy and Chino Valley High School last week.
On Tuesday, Jan. 16, the No. 6-ranked girls beat Northland Prep 55-20 before beating rival Chino Valley 57-36 on the road Thursday, Jan. 18. Their record improved to 12-2 in power-point games, and the win over Northland Prep slated them at 4-1 in the Central Region.
Meanwhile the boys found their first region win by defeating the Spartans 55-52, led by sophomore guard Jason Collier’s 25 points. Collier poured in 27 more in a 72-66 win over the Cougars on Jan. 18, despite fouling out with more than four minutes left in the fourth quarter. Sophomore guard Abe Gonzalez had 21 points and nine assists as well.
“He’s shooting the ball very well right now,” Cowboys head coach Dan Wall said of Collier. “Abe was really good [against Chino Valley] particularly .... He did a really good job of controlling the game, making the right decisions.
“Definitely both kids are stepping up on the offensive end and giving us good production.”
Camp Verde trailed Chino Valley 18-13 after the first quarter, then led 28-23 heading into the locker room. Throughout much of the season, the Cowboys went down early in games, needing to pull of lopsided runs in the second half to get back in it. In some instances it worked out, like the 61-50 win over Bourgade Catholic High School on Dec. 7. But in others it did not, like 65-59 region loss to Glendale Preparatory Academy on Jan. 5.
During this two-game stretch, they have not let games get away from them.
“We started both games very strong, it was very close at the end of the first quarter, whereas it was not close in the last five or six [games],” Wall said. “The kids have been doing a better job preparing to play.”
Overall most of Camp Verde’s games have been decided by less than 10 points either way, Wall said, providing “a good confidence booster.” Improvements at both ends of the floor during key stretches have been vital in shifting the tide in its favor.
“We’re doing a little better job executing down the stretch and getting stops on the defensive end when we need them most,” Wall said.
“We’ve shared the ball better than anytime during the last two games. We’re running offensive sets that we feel give us a good chance to score. Being more consistent offensively forces the opponent’s defense to work harder than in the past,” he added.
They went to Glendale Prep on Tuesday, Jan. 23, winning 56-49 to improve to 2-3 and ascend to third place in the region standings. It takes on second place Sedona Red Rock High School at 7 p.m. at home on Friday, Jan. 26.
Girls Aiming For State
The girls team has won three straight since its 62-36 region loss to Sedona Red Rock High School on Jan. 9. It has got three games left in the regular season; it beat Mingus Mountain Academy 43-8 on Friday, Jan. 19.
Then it traveled to Glendale Preparatory Academy on Tuesday, Jan. 23, which it narrowly beat 44-40 back on Jan. 5. The team was in second place in the region heading into the game, and maintained its spot after a 42-41 win.
Next up is the second matchup with Red Rock, with tipoff set for 5:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 26, at home.
Note: This story was updated on Thursday, Jan. 25, with scores from the Glendale Prep games and updated standings.