West Valley Preps
While the Kellis basketball program is making some strides, Coach Chris Riehemann knew the Cougars would be in the deep end once Metro Region play started.
Tempe McClintock (10-6, 1-1) proved that in Friday’s contest at Kellis, driving to the bucket will ease and dominating the offensive glass in a 65-45 romp.
The Cougars entered as underdogs and will be in that position against fellow league foes Apollo, Ironwood, Maricopa and Sunnyslope. But their coach wants the young team to improve its defensive fundamentals against this gauntlet.
“I think at times we did compete. But it’s hard when you sit there and watch how many times they drove to the front of the rim uncontested,” Coach Riehemann said. “(McClintock’s) best offense tonight was to throw it on the glass and just go get it. Granted we’re undersized, but when you’re undersized you have to do that much better of a job of making contact with people and sealing out.”
McClintock grabbed an early lead and never was threatened Friday. Senior guard Derek Alexander led a balanced attack with 15 points and junior Marquis Holloway (10 points) also drove to the cup with impunity.
When they or the Chargers’ wings missed, senior post Tyrel Richardson (11 points, nine rebounds) was usually there to clean it up.
“I tell these guys all the tie that winning varsity games is hard. It doesn’t matter who you’re playing or what their record is,” McClintock coach Samuel Dentz said. “We’ve just got to worry about us and we did that tonight. Taking care of the games you’re supposed to win is real important.”
Kellis (11-10, 0-2) could not get much going against the longer, more athletic visitors. Senior point guard Gelor Moise was the only constant threat, getting into the lane to finish with 14 points.
Junior Avery Reynolds (11 points) occasionally got loose in the post. But with fellow junior Camrin Taylor injured, freshman Daniel Lopez had to come up to varsity and play significant minutes inside.
This is a better shooting team than his first two at Kellis, which won a total of 16 games. While they value possessions a bit better than they did two months ago, Coach Riehemann said, the Cougars still lose the ball far too much.
“I’d like to see us stop throwing the ball to the other team, honestly. Christmas was a week and a half ago and we don’t need to be so generous with the basketball,” he said.
That will not matter in the final eight region games unless the Cougars compete on the backboards.
“We haven’t rebounded well, as much as we work on it every single day. It’s unbeknownst to me how we go out there for 32 minutes on the clock and don’t do anything we spent all week working on,” Coach Riehemann said. “They’re great kids. We just haven’t done a very good job of carrying it from the practice floor to the game.”