In the beginning of its 57-33 win, the Phoenix Paradise Valley boys basketball team couldn’t seem to get out of its own way.
The height of the Paradise Valley (6-2) players ended up being the difference, but sloppy play leading to six steals for Scottsdale Notre Dame halted the onslaught that started as soon as the start of the second-half buzzer sounded. Paradise Valley out-rebounded its opponent 26-14.
Paradise Valley senior forward Anthony Walker was dominant in the first half, totaling 15 of his team’s 30 points before the break. Usual stars Ryan Finley and Paul Watson, both seniors, had lackluster first halfs offensively but provided the defense boost the team needed to hold Notre Dame Prep (5-2) to 17 points.
The win was a good bounce-back for the team which lost its last game 53-47 at Phoenix Shadow Mountain.
“Coming off that loss to Shadow, we really needed to focus and get everything together,” Walker said. “My teammates passed me the ball and I tried to do everything I could to finish.”
The defense was the story of the game as Paradise Valley held Notre Dame Prep to 10 points or less in every quarter.
“I thought our defense played great,” Coach Mark MacGowan said. “We were very active, got into the passing lanes and created some easy baskets in transition.”
Starting point guard Brandon Williams has been out with an ankle injury, but is expected to be back for the game at home against Shadow Mountain on Dec. 20.
“We miss him a lot,” MacGowan said. “We need to get the ball into his hands so he can get it to our scorers. … We are kind of point guard by committee right now.”
Paradise Valley’s next game is against Phoenix Washington on Tuesday and Notre Dame Prep will take on Flagstaff on Monday.