Originally Published: January 4, 2017 6:02 a.m.
PHS vs Lee Williams Boys Basketball 010317
PRESCOTT — Charles Hicks had a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds, Paxton Henry scored eight points and the Prescott boys’ basketball team hit four 3-pointers during a 23-11 first-quarter run to put Lee Williams away early in a 54-42 win Tuesday night.
It is the first Grand Canyon region victory of the season for Prescott, which shot 46 percent (21-46) from the field, including six 3-pointers to end a four-game losing streak.
“Those last couple of weeks … it really helped us out,” Henry said about a rested and refocused Badgers club that hasn’t played a game since Dec. 19, a 56-55 loss to rival Bradshaw Mountain.
Prescott head coach Adam Neely said the break came at a good time.
“[It gave] them a little time to relax, refocus and … the [practice] time in the gym was really important,” Neely said. “We worked on those little details we need in the second half.”
Walter Riggs, who hit a 3-pointer as time expired to put Prescott (8-5, 1-3 Grand Canyon) up 23-11 after the first quarter, said the Badgers usually like to get the post a touch first before a kick-out shot from beyond the arc, but their guards found a rhythm early.
“It worked tonight, getting our three’s going, and we were hot,” Riggs said, adding a new 2-3 half-court trap worked to his club’s advantage, forcing Lee Williams to commit 12 turnovers.
“We love using that 2-3 trap,” Riggs said.
Neely said the team showed “growth” in its new defensive rinkle, which was added over break.
“I just thought it would be a nice way to change the pace of the game for the second half of the season,” Neely said.
Braden Lopez scored seven points, grabbed six rebounds and had two blocked shots for Prescott, while Kody Jones had four points, four rebounds and five assists.
Lee Williams (7-5, 1-2 Grand Canyon) cut the Badgers’ lead to five using a 17-9 run to begin the third quarter capped by a 3-pointer from Parker Taylor to make it 39-34 at the 1:45 mark, but the Volunteers would get no closer.
Lee Williams head coach Cain Atkinson, whose club had won four straight contests before Tuesday night’s loss to Prescott, said defensively his team played “very poorly.”
“Dudes were confused, dudes weren’t matched up, dudes didn’t know what we were in,” Atkinson said. “We were very lazy. … It was a poor effort. My guys played selfishly, didn’t get together as a team. They were on their own agenda.”
Badgers sophomore standout Jackson Tillapaugh had surgery to repair a broken tibia in his left leg and is expected to miss the remainder of the season.
Prescott begins a three-game road trip in Phoenix on Thursday as they play No. 3-ranked Moon Valley (12-3, 1-0 West Valley). Tipoff is scheduled 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.