Phoenix hold off Colts in defensive battle

Arizona News

In a largely defensive battle, the Sonoraville Phoenix (11-9, 7-6 Region 6-AAA) captured a home-court 48-37 victory over the Coahulla Creek Colts (8-13, 5-9 Region 6-AAA). Junior Orry Darnell led the way with 15 points.

“(The Colts) do a good job of slowing the game down to a pace they like, but I thought we did a pretty good job of speeding them up a bit,” Phoenix head coach Brent Mashburn said. “We were really good defensively all night. When the most points you give up in a quarter is 12 for the night, 37’s a number you can win.”

Sonoraville stayed aggressive defensively from the get-go, frustrating the Colts into occasional errant passes and turnovers.

“Our thought coming in is to bring the energy, bring the fight to them,” Mashburn said. “I thought our energy level was really good. Got a lot of deflections, lot of hands on balls, back tips from behind running up the floor … I think that really helped us offensively being able to create some easy ones.”

Fellow junior Murray Somers added 11. He and fellow junior Kevin Morrison were active on the glass, giving the Phoenix multiple second-chance looks.

The contest went back-and-forth throughout, with neither team able to start a run. However, the Phoenix knocked down their opportunities at the free-throw line, hitting 9-of-10 in the final eight minutes.

“Biggest thing for me is the way we finished the game,” Mashburn said. “Taking care of the basketball, getting ourselves to the free throw line, knocking down free throws and getting stops. That’s what’s gotten us throughout the course of the year. If we would’ve finished games like we did tonight, we may have five or six more wins.”

With one week remaining in the regular season, Sonoraville looks to close out the year on a high note.

“Take what you were able to do tonight … and take that confidence and move it into the next one,” Mashburn said. “If we can get that part of it down, we’ve got a chance to beat most anybody. Our thought process going forward is try to be the aggressor when we play no matter who it is and bring the fight and see what happens.”

The Sonoraville Phoenix travel north to Murray County to battle the Indians in the final road game of the regular season. Tipoff between the Phoenix and Indians is scheduled for 8:30 p.m.

After Chatsworth, Sonoraville is back home for its last two contests of the regular season with Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe and then North Murray on senior night.

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