Boys' hoops: Daniel McCown scores 21 to lead Desert Aztecs

Boys' hoops: Daniel McCown scores 21 to lead Desert Aztecs

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Boys' hoops: Daniel McCown scores 21 to lead Desert Aztecs

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PALM DESERT

The Palm Desert High School boys’ basketball team is one game closer to their first perfect season in the Desert Valley League since 2006.

The Aztecs knocked off Palm Springs 64-53 on Tuesday, in a game that really wasn’t that close. Daniel McCown led all scorers with 21 points for the Aztecs.

“It was a big game for us, for CIF standings and going for an undefeated league title, so we needed to make sure that we came out to play and I feel that we did that,” the senior guard said. “Defensively we would have liked to have held them to fewer points, but we held them enough to beat them by double digits so we’re OK with it.”

McCown was fairly hot from outside the arc, hitting three of seven from long distance.

The Aztecs got out to a 6-0 lead and only allowed the Indians to stay close in the first quarter. Palm Springs took its only lead of the game 11-10 with 2:48 left in the first period, but the Aztecs finished out the quarter up 18-15 and didn’t trail again.

“We had our moments where I thought we ran the floor real well, and rebounded well and passed well; the effort in the middle of the third (period), we got up by about 20, I thought we worked real hard for a stretch there on defense,” Palm Desert head coach Don Brady said. “I thought our defense in the first quarter – we weren’t really ready to go, so we’ve got to get better at that.”

The Aztecs only had one other player hit double digits, Anthony Murdica with 11 points.

For Palm Springs Deondre Hawkins led the way with 19 points, followed by Ricky Wright with 14. The only other Indian to get into double digits was Noah McGuire with 10 points.

Palm Desert (18-5, 11-0 in DVL) has already wrapped up the DVL title and is now just vying for an undefeated run in league play. For that they’ll need to beat just one more team — La Quinta (13-12) on the road Thursday.

Palm Desert beat the Blackhawks 57-40 the first time they played this season.

Winning that game is “important because our kids just want to keep this going, and that’s a big rivalry game, but it’s also a game that helps us for CIF,” Brady said.

McCown is of the same ilk.

“As seniors we’ve been working for (an undefeated season) for four years, so it’s huge,” he said. “It’s the biggest goal we’ve had since coming to high school, so it’s really big for us.”

Palm Desert’s final regular-season game tips off at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday at La Quinta. Palm Springs (6-17, 5-6) hosts Cathedral City at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday in its final game.

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