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4:09 AM Thu, Dec. 13th

Tapija scores 27, Mingus drops rival Badgers 74-51

Neely on Tapija: 'We tried to limit his touches but he still found a way to score'

Kody Jones (33) spins around a Mingus defender as the Prescott boys’ basketball team played the Marauders on Friday night. Jones only scored three points, but grabbed 11 reobunds and had five assists in a 74-51 loss. (Vyto Starinskas/Special to the Courier)

Kody Jones (33) spins around a Mingus defender as the Prescott boys’ basketball team played the Marauders on Friday night. Jones only scored three points, but grabbed 11 reobunds and had five assists in a 74-51 loss. (Vyto Starinskas/Special to the Courier)

COTTONWOOD — Miles Tapija scored a career-high 27 points, including 22 in the first half, Chase Paquin added 23 and the Mingus boys’ basketball team used a 27-point offensive outburst in the first quarter to open Grand Canyon region play with a 74-51 victory over Prescott on Friday night.

“Tapija played extremely well in the first half hitting tough shot after though shot,” Prescott head coach Adam Neely said. “We tried to limit his touches but he still found a way to score.”

Walter Riggs and Paxton Henry each scored 11 points for the Badgers, which came into Friday’s contest having won seven of their first eight games this season.

One of those Prescott victories came against this very same Marauders club in a 71-58 win at the Red Rock Hoops Classic in Sedona on Dec. 2.

“Mingus jumped on us early by playing hard and hitting shots,” Neely said. “We struggled to respond.”

The Badgers shot just 27 percent from the field (15 of 54), including a 4 of 19 mark beyond the arc, while Mingus hit 29 of 60 (48%) and six 3-pointers.

Third-year Mingus head coach David Deery credited his team’s all-around effort on the court in the big win.

“We competed a lot better on the glass. Prescott is big and physical,” Deery said. “We hit shots, we moved the ball well and played hard.”

For Prescott, Riggs added six rebounds to his point total, Ryan Greene chipped in with five points and 10 rebounds, while Kody Jones scored only three points, but grabbed 11 rebounds and dished out five assists.

Victor Anaya was the third player in double figures with 10 points for Mingus, which led 44-30 at halftime and never looked back.

NEXT UP

Prescott (7-2, 0-1 4A-Grand Canyon) travels north to Flagstaff to play the rival Eagles on Monday, Dec. 12. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Mingus (2-6, 1-0 4A-Grand Canyon) hosts Washington on Tuesday, Dec. 13. Scheduled start time is set for 7 p.m.

Brian M. Bergner Jr. is a sports writer and columnist for The Daily Courier. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram, Periscope and SoundCloud at @SportsWriter52, or on Facebook at @SportsAboveTheFold. Reach him by phone at 928-445-3333, ext. 1106.