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Don Ketchum
Former Staff Writer,

Deer Valley boys finally solve press against Ftn. Hills

December 14, 2011 by Don Ketchum, AZPreps365

By Don Ketchum

Uh oh. Coach Jed Dunn’s boys basketball team from Glendale Deer Valley was in an 11-0 hole in the first minute and a half against Fountain Hills in their first-round game of the Horizon Holiday Tournament on Wednesday (Dec. 14) at Phoenix Horizon High.

Fountain Hills, which entered the week as the No. 1 team in Division III power points, applied a full-court press against Deer Valley, No. 9 in Division I.

Dunn had to wonder if his team would be able to survive.

The Skyhawks did, roaring back with a big second half on the way to an 84-70 triumph.

Deer Valley climbed to 10-4, while Fountain Hills fell to 5-1.

Deer Valley advances to the winner’s bracket game on Friday at 6:30 p.m. against the winner of a later game on Wednesday between Phoenix Mountain Pointe and Peoria Centennial.

The Skyhawks came back by handling the ball much better against the press in the second half and being more aggressive on defense and in the rebounding department.

“We weren’t really ready, not mentally ready to play this game,’’ said Dunn, whose team had suffered two straight losses to powerful Phoenix Pinnacle, including a 66-51 setback on Tuesday night.

“We knew they were going to press us. We had seen them use the press in the summer and they work hard at it.’’

By the time the first quarter ended, Deer Valley had pulled to within 17-15.

Fountain Hills continued to maintain its advantage through most of the third quarter, but Deer Valley went on a 7-0 run to close out the period for a 61-57 lead.

Fountain Hills never regained the lead after that.

Deer Valley hit three 3-pointers, including two by Chris Chandler at the 3-minute and 2-minute marks.

Deer Valley had four double-figure scorers – Tyler Watts (20), Chandler (13), Tre Ogles (13) and Deron Kyle (10). Fountain Hills had three – Jeffrey Bonner (24), Ben Carlson (17) and Sam Becker (11).