CAMP VERDE – Earlier this month, the Camp Verde girls basketball team lost three of five games at the Phoenix Country Day Tournament.
Before coming up short Thursday against Horizon Honors, the Lady Cowboys had been undefeated since those Dec. 2-3 games.
Thanks to senior forward Kayla Hackett’s 16 points and 16 rebounds Friday, it didn’t take long for the Camp Verde girls to again find success, as they beat Tonopah Valley 44-30 at home.
Head basketball coach Mark Showers said his squad is “a whole lot better than we were three weeks ago.”
In the absence of freshman playmaker Tanna Decker, sophomore shooting guard Hope Ontiveros and freshman playmaker Amanda Lozanilla have been sharing leadership duties in the back court for Camp Verde, finding open players to pass the ball to, as well as taking shots.
Ontiveros scored 11 points against both Horizon Honors and Tonopah Valley, and added three assists Thursday. Lozanilla, recently added to the roster after she started the season on the JV, scored two points in each game Thursday and Friday. Though Showers said he hopes to see Decker back in the lineup this week, Lozanilla “will be on the team the rest of the year.”
Burr in the saddle
Besides one win and one loss, the difference between Thursday’s and Friday’s games was defense, Showers said.
“We ran a jump zone defense against Horizon, where we let some kids shoot, others we don’t let shoot,” Showers said. “It worked for about three quarters. Then their kids who supposedly can’t hit their shots were hitting them.”
Friday, Camp Verde played man defense against Tonopah Valley “and we shut them down offensively,” Showers said. “Raiven played their best player, held her to eight points.”
Senior Raiven Alvey’s performance has been “the same all season,” Showers said. Consistent.
“She’s a very physical player, very quick,” Showers said. “She’s able to stay with a good offensive player. She’s like a burr in the saddle. She irritates the good players on the other team.”
Senior center Marisa Presmyk has become accustomed to being first player off the bench – known in basketball lingo as the sixth man.
Not only has Presmyk’s rebounding been consistent, she’s also found more points on the offensive end.
“Our character quality this week is ‘reliable,’” Showers said. “And Marisa is the poster child of ‘reliable.’”
Presmyk finished Friday’s home game with nine points and 13 rebounds, after scoring eight points and grabbing 11 rebounds Thursday at Horizon Honors.
“She’s always been a strong player,” Showers said of Presmyk. “This year, she’s getting a ton of playing time. She’s adding some scoring. It’s getting more consistent, and she’s becoming more comfortable. She’s doing the things she’s needed to do.”
Now 8-4 overall, Camp Verde transitions into regional action Tuesday at home against Mingus Mountain Academy before hosting the Yvonne Johnson Memorial on Dec. 29-30. Game time on Dec. 20 is 5:30 p.m.