BOYS BASKETBALL: Knights roll over Gila Ridge
Lake Havasu scored the first 11 points of the game and controlled throughout in a 66-53 victory over Yuma Gila Ridge on Tuesday night at Lake Havasu High School.
The Knights came out running, pushing the pace and forcing Gila Ridge into a handful of mistakes early getting to the free-throw line twice in the 11-0 stretch to start the first four minutes of the game.
Gila Ridge’s Jamison Kay got the Hawks on the board and back into the game, first with a pair of free throws and then with three straight buckets, including a pair of 3-pointers to cut the Havasu lead to 13-10 in the span of 1:36 on the clock. The Hawks breifly took the lead in the second quarter, but Havasu was able to wrest the lead back and carry a 33-27 advantage into halftime.
The Knights refocused on defense after the break, holding Gila Ridge to three field goals in the final six minutes of the third quarter, stretching their lead to 14 points to start the fourth.
The Hawks chipped away at the lead again, cutting it to 54-47 three minutes into the final frame, but Havasu was able to close strong, keeping Gila Ridge to just a 3-pointer and a free throw in the final four minutes to pull away and ice the victory.
“I challenged them a bit before the game to get back to the way we want to play the game: playing together, caring about each other,” Havasu coach Ted Darnell said.
“I think you saw that tonight on the floor. We were sharing the ball, playing really good defense, guys were playing really hard. Overall it was a good team effort and lately we haven’t had that chemistry. It was good to see it tonight.”
Noah Boyd scored 24 points to lead the Knights. Jayden Azar added 11 points and Will Prater had 10 in the victory.
Havasu (5-4) will host Cactus (5-5) on Thursday in its third game of the week after a two-week holiday break.