Camp Verde High boys basketball ran into some trouble at home on Friday night but still were able to win their seventh straight.
The No. 9 Cowboys (17-2, 4-0 Central) rallied to beat No. 28 Northland Prep 45-41
“I’m very pleased that we were able to play in a game like that, where we got hit and hit hard in that second quarter and we got down and we had to find a way to fight back a little bit,” CV head coach Daniel Wall said. “We just haven’t been in a whole lot of those this year and that was really good for our group. And obviously I was happy with how we responded in the second half, we came back and defended and that was really great to see the boys do that.”
After jumping out to a 10 point lead early on and an 18-10 lead after the first quarter, the Cowboys found themselves trailing at the half 27-20. However, Camp Verde rallied in the third quarter to tie it with 2:22 left in the frame and then took the lead for good with 3:50 left in the game.
“I think it was a pretty good test game,” CV senior guard Ismael Hogan said. “It tested us really good cuz sometimes we tend to underestimate people and I feel like that’s what we did (Friday) night but we were really resilient (Friday).”
Camp Verde Basketball Northland Prep 011119
Camp Verde hosted Northland Prep on Jan. 11, sweeping the Spartans. VVN/James Kelley
The Cowboys haven’t lost since Dec. 15 and haven’t dropped a regular season game since Dec. 7. They have also won 13 of their last 14 but Hogan said they aren’t thinking about their streaks.
“We’re going game by game, we don’t like to think about that stuff,” Hogan said.
He said the key to their third quarter rally was defense.
“The biggest thing is we were just over pursuing everything defensively in the second quarter and it was like each guy was trying to go win the game on their own on defense instead of just being solid,” Wall said. “They’re playing really hard, but just in the wrong way. So we just try to keep the ball in front of us, play help side D and box out. And then we adjusted a few things offensively to try to get some different looks from different spots and the guys executed well.”
Junior C.J. Bast scored 11 points, had 12 rebounds, eight offensive and four steals. Junior shooting guard Jason Collier scored 14 points, had three assists, three rebounds and a steal.
NPA did retake the lead in the third quarter and led by three with five minutes to go. CV came back and held on though.
Wall said Bast’s steal when it was a two point game and freshman guard Jose Salas-Zorrilla’s two made free throws at the end of the game were highlights worthy of pointing out.
“I told the guys ‘because we’re playing well right now and we’re doing well, everybody’s gonna be ready for you guys and they’re going to want to come play their best game against us,” Wall said. “We knew that Northland wasn’t just going to go away and so we had several moments (Friday night) where we needed to respond and we did.”
Over the winter break the Cowboys won the Yvonne Johnson Memorial Shootout at home, beating Hopi 83-75 and River Valley 78-74 to open the tournament.
“We started off pretty sluggishly, we kinda hung on to a couple wins on Friday,” Wall said. “We just didn’t play well defensively. Did okay on the offensive end, shot the ball really well, which gave us a chance to win. But we like to hang our hats on defense, so I wasn’t super pleased with day one.”
Then on the second day they beat Williams 80-58 and Parker 70-58 in the title game.
“Then we played Williams the morning of Saturday in the semis, played a lot better,” Wall said. “Then we beat Parker in the finals by — I think it ended up being 12 — but it was a two point game with about four minutes left and the same time of things as (Friday) night, Parker went up on us at half, we had to find a way to fight back a little bit and we did.”
Camp Verde’s next game is Friday at No. 35 Sedona Red Rock at 7 p.m. Their next home game is Saturday against No. 18 Glendale Prep at 7 p.m.