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5 things to watch in sports this week Dec. 17

Camp Verde sophomore Amanda Lozanilla lays the ball up during the Cowboys’ 47-22 win over Chino Valley. Camp Verde has won five in a row. (VVN/James Kelley)

Camp Verde sophomore Amanda Lozanilla lays the ball up during the Cowboys’ 47-22 win over Chino Valley. Camp Verde has won five in a row. (VVN/James Kelley)

Cowboys face Raiders in must win game for both sides

The NFL playoffs pretty much start early as the Raiders host the Cowboys.

Though it’s only Week 15, Oakland comes in with a 6-7 record and Dallas with a 7-6 mark, so it’s pretty much a must win game for both teams.

They play at 6:30 p.m. on NBC.

Though the Raiders were expected to contend this season, they sit a game back in the AFC West, sitting in third place. They are in the 9th spot in the AFC, still in the hunt, as of press time.

With the Eagles having clinched the division, the Cowboys are in second in the NFC East. They are the 10th seed in NFC as of press time.

Cowboys open region play

On Tuesday Camp Verde High girls basketball looks to stay hot when they travel to Mingus Mountain.

The Cowboys (11-2) open region play at MMA at 5:30 p.m. Camp Verde has won five in a row and their only loses were to Chandler Valley Christian and Payson, both 3A schools.

During the win streak, the Cowboys have outscored opponents 273-84

The Mingus Mountain games is the Cowboys’ last until the Yvonne Johnson Memorial on December 29.

Marauders host Higley and highly rated recruit

Mingus Union boys basketball caps off 2017 with a formidable foe.

On Tuesday the Marauders (7-4) hosts Gilbert Higley at 6 p.m. Sophomore small forward Jason Harris leads the Knights.

Harris is the No. 2 ranked basketball prospect in the state in the 2020 class. He’s received basketball scholarship offers from DePaul, Florida State and Arizona State.

Harris is considering football scholarship offers from Arizona, Illinois, Kentucky, Oklahoma and Oregon State.

He is the son of former UA All-American linebacker Sean Harris.

He missed the football game against Mingus Union with a shoulder injury but is expected to be available for the basketball game.

NAZ Suns host Christmas night

The Northern Arizona Suns will host their annual Christmas Game on Friday.

NAZ hosts the Oklahoma City Blue at 7 p.m. Buckets will be dressed as Santa and fans can take photos with the mascot.

There will also be holiday themed promotions through out the game.

As of press time, the Blue (8-9) are first in the Midwest Division of the Gatorade League. The Suns (7-9) are in fourth in the Pacific Division.

The Blue, the Thunder’s affiliate, feature former UCLA Bruin Bryce Alford.

It’s the Suns’ last home game until late January.

Army takes on the Aztecs

Saturday’s Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl highlights the first full week of bowl action.

San Diego State (10-2) faces Army (9-3) at 1:30 p.m. on ESPN in Fort Worth, Texas. San Diego State beat Pac-12 North champion Stanford and ASU.

Meanwhile Army finished first among independents and won the Commander-In-Chief Trophy.

The Black Knights led the NCAA in rushing and the Aztecs were 12th.

Army quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw ran for 1,472 yards and 11 touchdowns and SDSU Aztecs running back Rashaad Penny rushed for 2,027 yards.

It is San Diego State’s eighth straight bowl appearance, a school record. This is the United States Military Academy seventh bowl game.