Photo by Doug Cook.
Originally Published: December 20, 2016 6 a.m.
PRESCOTT VALLEY – Winless in power-point games and desperately needing a jolt to revive its 2016-17 season, Bradshaw Mountain High’s boys’ basketball team came from behind to defeat rival Prescott, 56-55, in a stunner on Monday night, Dec. 19.
After trailing Prescott 41-32 at the end of the third quarter at Gary Kunow Gym, the Bears outscored the Badgers 24-14 in the fourth and held on for the victory.
“It’s amazing,” Bradshaw guard Blake Huntley said. “That’s a great basketball program we just beat – great coaches, great atmosphere, great players. It feels great to come out on top finally.”
Bradshaw improved to 1-8 in power-point contests and 1-4 in the Grand Canyon Region. The Bears’ lone win before Monday came at the Page tournament earlier this month. But that victory does not count in the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s (AIA) tabulations for deciding which teams qualify for the Class 4A state tournament in February.
Bradshaw coach Matt Simpson pointed out that the Bears had lost their last three region games by 1 point each. He said that if his team hadn’t experienced losing, however, it wouldn’t have played as well as it did on Monday.
“Realistically, we could be 4-1 in league right now,” Simpson added. “But if we don’t go through that, we don’t play like we’ve been playing. Obviously, they’re still hungry, and they’re hungry to finish strong.”
Prescott, meanwhile, dropped to 7-5 overall, 2-4 in power-point games and 0-3 in the region. The Badgers have lost four in a row.
“We played comfortable instead of playing at our tempo, like we did in the first half,” Prescott’s Kody Jones said of his team’s second-half breakdown. “We have not played a full game of basketball yet. I thought we were going to tonight. But in the fourth quarter we kind of let it slip away. We’ll learn and grow from this.”
For the Bears, Huntley scored a game-high 19 points, including eight points in the fourth, to lead the hosts. He finished with three 3-pointers. Huntley converted 3-of-4 free throws in the final frame. He added five rebounds, three assists and three steals.
“It’s for my team, it’s for my family, it’s for my classmates – for everything,” Huntley said of piecing together a complete performance in the rivalry win.
Swing Ivan Vidovic wound up the hero for Bradshaw, though. With the game knotted at 55-55 and 1.8 seconds left in regulation, he converted 1-of-2 free throws to seal it.
“It was all my teammates,” Vidovic said. “At the end of the game, everyone saw me keep calm and make sure to stay positive. [Teammate] Timmy Young, he was just sitting there saying, ‘Hey, do it. It’s your time.’ ”
Vidovic purposely missed the second free throw so that Prescott could not get a shot off before the buzzer. Prescott’s Jones’ desperation heave on the rebound of Vidovic’s miss was well off its mark just past midcourt as time expired. Bradshaw’s sizeable contingent of fans then stormed the court to celebrate.
PHS guard Paxton Henry said he and his teammates knew what to expect from a hungry Bradshaw squad.
“We knew that they were going to come out and give it 120 percent, you know?” Henry added. “We kinda came in with the feeling that we had it under control. But then again, we were still kind of unsure about ourselves.”
Prescott was led by Cameron Parsons, who scored 14 points, including eight points in the fourth. With the Badgers down 55-52 with 15.1 seconds left, Parsons converted three straight free throws after being fouled on a 3-pointer attempt to tie it. On the ensuing possession, Jones fouled Vidovic with 1.8 ticks to go and set up the finish.
Also contributing for Prescott was Charles Hicks, who followed Parsons with 11 points. Jones ended with six points, seven rebounds and six assists.
None of the Badgers made any excuses after the loss.
“We knew we were going to have to play a complete game,” Badgers coach Adam Neely said. “When you look at it, record doesn’t play into a rivalry game like this. We had some moments where we just let things slip and we lost our details for a bit.”
Next up, the Badgers will take time off for the holidays before resuming competition at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 3, when they play host to region foe Lee Williams.
Bradshaw will also receive a respite for the holidays. They will visit region opponent Mohave at 7 p.m. Jan. 3, in Bullhead City.
Bradshaw Mtn. girls 46, Prescott 38
PRESCOTT VALLEY – Bradshaw Mountain High’s girls’ basketball team outscored rival Prescott 20-17 in the second half and went on to defeat rival Prescott at Kunow Gym.
The Bears led 26-21 at halftime in what proved to be a close contest. Bradshaw, a winner of five its past six games, improved its record to 7-6 overall, 6-3 in power-point contests and 3-2 in the Grand Canyon Region.
Senior guard Elah Alvis paced the hosts with 14 points. Junior guard Mica Nellis followed with 12 points, three rebounds and three assists. Forward Haley Young added 10 points and 12 rebounds for her second consecutive double-double.
Prescott was led by post Brittany Resendez, who scored 16 points and pulled down eight rebounds. Theresa Gutierrez (11 points, three assists) and point guard Abigail Chartier (six points, seven rebounds, five assists) also played significant roles for the visitors.
With the loss, the Badgers dipped to 2-5 in power-point games and 0-3 in the region. Prescott has now lost five in a row.
Next up, Bradshaw Mountain and Prescott will compete in the annual Prescott Lady Badgers Winter Classic. The tournament gets underway next Thursday, Dec. 29, at PHS’s Dome and auxiliary gyms.
Follow Doug Cook on Twitter @dougout_dc. Reach him at 928-445-3333 ext. 2039, or 928-642-7865.