Camp Verde High boys basketball continued their hot start at Round Valley and were in the top 10 of the first AIA rankings.
Last weekend the No. 8 Cowboys (10-2, 1-0 Central) finished second at the Round Valley Roundball Shootout. CV went 4-1 in the three-day tournament.
“It was good,” CV head coach Daniel Wall sad. “It was a really good weekend for us. I thought we made some good improvements in the way and the style that we were playing, the kids worked really hard. We were all hoping for a different outcome on Saturday night in the championship game but overall very, very pleased with the effort and execution of our group.”
The Cowboys opened with a 71-42 win over Pinon, then they beat Mogollon 65-41. Next they beat Round Valley 61-22 and Holbrook 60-48 before falling to Show Low 58-29 in the championship game.
“As a team we played great, we executed,” junior shooting guard Jason Collier said. “We wish we would have beat Show Low but we learned from it and we know what we got to do in order to win the tournament. It was a great tournament.”
Show Low is 6-1 and ranked No. 9 in the 3A.
Collier made the all-tournament team.
“Obviously Jason played well, I thought his best game was Holbrook and not because he was shooting well but because he made really good decisions, really started thinking through his choices on offense, I was pleased with that,” Wall said.
AIA basketball rankings*
Camp Verde boys: 8th
Camp Verde girls: 7th
Mingus Union boys: 24th
Mingus Union girls: 30th
*as of Dec. 20
Wall also said that a bunch of Cowboys impressed at the tournament, like senior guard Ismael Hogan, junior shooting guard/forward Abelardo Gonzalez, junior C.J. Bast and freshman guard Jose Salas-Zorrilla.
“Very pleased with Ish,” Wall said. “Abe really made some strides this week, on an aggressive side of things, he was defending well, Coke was tough as well this weekend, he finished well for us, he competed really hard, we had some tough big kids that we played against and he did a great job on them and then Chino, Chino for a freshman kid, he played like he was a junior or senior, he just thinks the game really well, makes great decisions and just really helps us a lot.”
Although the tournament results don’t factor into the rankings, the Cowboys were in the top 10 in the first rankings. They are 6-1 in power point games.
“I’m really happy with where we’re at, it’s been good but at this point in the season there’s so much of a long way to go,” Wall said. “So it’s something where you look and go ‘okay great,’ but that’s not the end of the year, there’s so much work to be done to legitimately be where we are right now. So pleased with the start but we’re sure not satisfied, I know the kids are still really hungry and excited to compete.”
Although the Cowboys had injuries early on, Collier said he wasn’t surprised by CV’s start.
“I feel like we could be 7-0 right now for our in season games,” Collier said. “I know how good this team is and everybody knows where we’re at as a team and we just go in hungry every day.”
With the girls coming in at No. 7, both Camp Verde programs are ranked in the top 10.
“It’s exciting I can’t remember the last time that the boys and the girls were both doing this well to start the season in the same year,” Wall said. “So that’s really fun and it speaks to the effort that the kids have put in in the offseason to make themselves better players and they’ve now been doing that for several years and their hard work is starting to pay off for them a little bit.”