Lots of positives to start the new year for Wickenburg High School’s basketball teams.
Coach Noel Hachtel’s Wranglers won their first game of the season at the Valley Lutheran Coyotes Invitational Tournament last weekend while Coach Kevin Cushman’s Lady Wranglers maintained their season average by winning at least two of their four games at the Chandler Prep Invitational tournament.
Both teams started their 3A West Region competition earlier this week hosting Chino Valley and will continue that action by visiting Kingman on Thursday, Jan. 9. They then return home next Tuesday, Jan. 14 to battle Kingman Academy.
The boys broke their 10-game losing streak to start the season when they defeated Gilbert Classic, 45-41, in the second round of the Valley Lutheran tournament. They stormed to a 22-14 lead through the first half and held off a Spartan rally in the second half to win by four points.
They had earlier lost to Fountain Hills for the second time this season, 66-29, in the first round of the tournament. Senior guard Troy Adamo led the Wranglers with seven points and sophomore forward Kaden Conway added six on a couple three-pointers.
Wickenburg finished the tournament losing to smaller school NFL Yet Academy, 52-46, and Horizon Honors, 55-49, to finish the 2019 half of its season with a 1-12 record. The unusually-named NFL YET Academy charter school is part of a chain of educational and recreational centers throughout the country that are operated by the Boys and Girls Club of America on behalf of the National Football League. The YET portion of the name stands for Youth Education Town, and schools are located in lower-income neighborhoods of a city that has hosted a Super Bowl since the early 1990s.
In the loss to Horizon Honors, Conway poured in 17 points, with 12 of those coming on four 3-point field- goals.
The girls’ earned at least a split in the 85-team, nine-location Chandler Prep Tournament — winning two, losing one, and a fourth game still unreported by press time.
Katie Cushman’s 14 points led the Lady Wranglers in their 41-27 victory against Anthem Prep in the their tournament opener.
Junior guard Marla Olson’s six points on a couple of three-pointers led Coach Cushman’s girls with six points in the 28-24 loss to Arete Prep in the second round.
Cushman then followed her double-digit performance in the first game when she scored 17 points to lead the Lady Wranglers in their 51-17 triumph over Tempe Prep in the third round. Freshman Anna Olson and sophomore Clare Peterson supported the effort with nine and eight points, respectively.
Their fourth-round game on Saturday against Bourgade, a team they defeated to open the season, had not yet been reported by press time.
The Lady Wranglers capped their 2019 portion of their season with a 7-6 record (not counting the latest Bourgade game in the tournament).
Thursday, Jan. 9
Boys Basketball — Wickenburg High at Kingman, 4/7 p.m.
Girls Basketball — Wickenburg High at Kingman, 2:30/5:30 p.m.
Soccer — Wickenburg High at Kingman, Boys 4 p.m./Girls 6 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 10
Wrestling — Wickenburg High at Joseph City Invitational, TBA
Tuesday, Jan. 14
Boys Basketball — Kingman Academy at Wickenburg High, 4/7 p.m.
Girls Basketball — Kingman Academy at Wickenburg High, 2:30/5:30 p.m.