By Greg Perkins
The Joseph City Wildcats went 2-2 at the Route 66 Tournament held last weekend at Williams High School. The Cats wrapped up an extremely busy week playing five consecutive days between their regular schedule and the tourney schedule.
In their first tournament game they faced Yuma Catholic and despite playing hard, came up short against a good team, losing 62-33. Austin Bushman led the team with 12 points, Jacob Fields added 8, and Daniel Hutchens and Wyatt Johnson each scored 6 in the loss.
“We hung in there and battled, but Yuma Catholic was a great team and wore us down,” said Coach Scott Corum.
Next up the Cats faced Williams for what turned out to be the second of three meetings during the week. This matchup was close until the third quarter when the Vikings turned a four-point cushion into an 11-point margin and pulled away to win 54-29.
Fields finished with 7 points, Cody Davis added 6, and Johnson, Chance Rush, T.J. Hendricks and Bush-man each netted 2.
“We fought hard in the first half, but having games on Tuesday, Wednesday and earlier in the day on Thursday caught up with us and fatigue set in. Our starters played limited minutes in the second half,” noted the coach.
On Friday Joseph City met up with Seligman and played better, winning a 57-46 contest. In a game that was close through three periods, the Wildcats pulled away down the stretch to get the win. Fields bounced back with 22 points, Johnson and Davis each added 10, Rush, 6, Hutchens and Bushman, 4 each, and Hendricks, 2.
“This was a good game that was close most of the way. Jacob made some big shots in the fourth quarter, and Chance and T.J. did a good job on the boards in the fourth,” said the coach.
Their final game of the tournament on Saturday was really never close as they handily took care of Ash Fork, 55-36. A strong first period put the Cats up 19-2 and they were never threatened the rest of the way.
Fields again played well, netting 26 points. Johnson added 8, Hutchens, Bushman, Rush, Hendricks, and Jayden Turley scored 4 each, and Harrison Lorenzo, 2.
“The game was never really in doubt. We got off to a quick start and the game never did get close. How-ever, the third quarter continues to be a problem for us as Ash Fork went on an 11-0 run. Our energy was low and I was forced to pick our team up with a press. We then resumed control of the game,” concluded Coach Corum.
Jacob Fields was selected to the all tournament team for his performance over the weekend.
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By Greg Perkins