Hamilton Cruises Past South Mountain
Chandler, AZ- Coming into this game, both the South Mountain Jaguars and the Hamilton Huskies were riding high. The Jaguars were on a 7 game winning streak, including a victory over rival North, a championship at the Queen Creek Tournament, and a road win over Sunrise Mountain. The Huskies were coming off of an impressive showing at the McClintock Holiday Shootout, and a quality win over highly ranked Corona Del Sol. Something had to give.
With the score tied at eight in the first quarter, the Huskies went on a 10-0 run to take an 18-8 lead at quarter's end. They would not look back.
In a battle of sophomore point guards, Hamilton's Innocent Wells was "guilty" of victimizing South's Raymond Stewart, outscoring him 12-5 and fooling him time after time with his crossover dribble.
Hamilton had four players in double figuers, including 10 off the bench from Derek Meyer. But the leading scorer of the game was junior guard Travis Dixon, who had 15. Dixon was also the quarterback of Hamilton's state championship football team, proving that he is indeed a two sport star, and a tremendous athlete.
South Mountain struggled the entire game, showing signs of defensive confusion, much to the dismay of head coach George Wray, who watches his team lose their ninth game in 5A competition, to go with just two victories.
This game provided a reality check for both teams as they start conference play next week. The Jaguars realized that they need to kick it up a notch if they are going to be successful in conference play. With the amount of parity in the Metro Region, the coaches in the Metro have never been more clueless as to where each team will finish. The Jaguars can look forward to the fact that during the Phoenix Union Tournament, they were very competitive against their regional foes.
As for the Huskies, this victory gives them some confidence going into Fiesta Region play. They know they are better than their record would indicate. Hamilton's main competition this season is Highland, who just lost their first game to Mesa, and cross-town rival Chandler, who has turned heads all season. But if the Huskies play like they played against South Mountain, the future looks bright for Kevin Hartwig's team.
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