Cowboys fall 43-35 to No. 3 Coyotes

Camp Verde forward Kayla Hackett looks for an open teammate Tuesday night against Combs. Hackett earned the start Tuesday night after returning from injury to give a boost to the Cowboys. (Photo by Greg Macafee)

Camp Verde forward Kayla Hackett looks for an open teammate Tuesday night against Combs. Hackett earned the start Tuesday night after returning from injury to give a boost to the Cowboys. (Photo by Greg Macafee)

CAMP VERDE- Tuesday night, No. 19 Camp Verde girls' basketball team took on No. 3 Combs and held the lead throughout the majority of the first half and into the third quarter. Senior guard Gabby Ontiveros hit a trio of three-pointers in the first quarter that allowed the Cowboys to jump out to a 12-9 lead through the first.

The two teams traded baskets throughout the second-quarter but it was the Cowboys who took a one-point lead into halftime. Going into the third quarter the Cowboys jumped on the Coyotes and extended their lead to five late in the third.

After a quick timeout from Combs coach Amanda Webster, the Coyotes seemed ready to play and converted three quick fast breaks to give them a one point lead at built the rest from there. Camp Verde Head Coach Mark Showers said his team never really recovered from that quick outburst from Combs.

"After going up 5pts in the 3rd quarter we gave up three consecutive fast breaks because we got beat down the floor," Showers said. "Then Gabby fouled out a few minutes into the 4th and the wheels fell off."

By the end of the third the Coyotes had a 35-28 lead. They scored eight more points in the fourth quarter to match Camp Verde's seven and earned their 12th victory, 43-35.

The Cowboys, who have had to battle through injuries all year are still missing starters Hope Ontiveros and Dusty Dowdle. Showers isn't sure when either one will be back but Tuesday night the Cowboys were able to get junior forward Kayla Hackett back on the court, and Showers said that was a real boost for the team.

The Cowboys (8-9) now will face-off with the Sedona Red Rock Scorpions on Friday night at home. The Cowboys recently beat the Scorpions 53-45 before Christmas break and Showers said it will beat very difficult to beat a team like SRR twice in a row.

"The win against Sedona Red Rock was big. It is very difficult to beat a team as good as SRR twice in a row," Showers said. "We are still trying to build consistency and hit our stride. Not quite there yet. We just want to be competitive."

The Scorpions recently went 5-2 at the Lady Badgers Winter Classic in Prescott. They suffered a loss to Copper Canyon in the first day of the tourney before rattling three straight wins in the second day of the tournament including a 48-45 overtime win over Division I team Sandra Day O'Connor. The Scorpions eventually lost to the host Prescott in the championship game.

The two teams will square off in Camp Verde, Friday night at 5:30 with the two boys teams set to face-off afterwards in a rematch. The Scorpions edged out the Cowboys on December 17 by five-points. Since then the Scorpions had climbed to a top-10 ranking in Division IV before a loss to the Prescott Badgers dropped them out of the top 10 and into the No. 13 slot.

The Cowboys have hit a little bit of a rut lately, and suffered a 65-48 loss to the Wickenburg Wranglers Tuesday night in Wickenburg. The two teams will tip-off at approximately 7 p.m. Friday night.

-- Follow Greg Macafee on Twitter @greg_macafee and Instagram @VerdeValleyNews

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