Prep Basketball: Tigers use fourth-quarter run to defeat River Valley

Kingman Academy’s Aden Dunton scored a game-high 20 points Thursday night to lead the Tigers to a 76-55 win over River Valley.

Photo by Beau Bearden.

Kingman Academy’s Aden Dunton scored a game-high 20 points Thursday night to lead the Tigers to a 76-55 win over River Valley.

KINGMAN – The Kingman Academy High School boys basketball team held a nine-point advantage entering the fourth quarter Thursday night, but it was still searching for that spark to push the game out of reach. The Tigers quickly found it with a 13-0 run that led them to a 76-55 win over River Valley.

“The run definitely helped us – it gave us more energy,” said Academy’s Aden Dunton. “Our team did well tonight. We did well at keeping our heads on straight.”

Dunton lead the way for the Tigers with a game-high 20 points, while Tyler Chinyere scored 18 and Logan Day added 10 points.

“My teammates helped me out,” Dunton said. “They got the ball in good places and I finished. It worked out and everyone got theirs.”

Dunton accounted for seven of the 13 points during a run that started with 6:08 remaining in the fourth and didn’t end until the Dust Devils made two shots at the charity stripe with 3:37 on the clock.

While River Valley finally ended the scoring spree, the damage had been done as the Academy held a 20-point lead, 68-48.

“The thing that we’ve been talking a lot about with our team is energy, playing with intensity and playing up to where they know they can play,” said Tigers head coach William McDavid. “They did that in the fourth quarter. We had a little bit of a lull in the third quarter, but we had some leaders like Nate Perea and Aden Dunton, who really came out and showed they know the level they can play at and they’re going to rise everyone else up to that as well.”

The Academy jumped out to an early 19-6 lead after the first quarter and held a 14-point advantage, 34-22, at halftime. The Dust Devils (0-6) did cut the deficit to six points, 45-39, with 2:03 remaining in the third quarter, but the Tigers quickly responded as Chinyere scored five straight points.

“The best thing about this is we got a win in front of our home crowd,” McDavid said. “They know what we’re doing works. Sometimes questions arise after losing the first couple at home, but now we come here and win this. They recognize it’s a process. Each day we’re putting a brick onto our wall. We’re building a wall and it’s almost there.”

The Academy (1-6) hosts Northland Prep (4-2) at 7 p.m. today before opening 2A West Region action Dec. 20 at Trivium Prep.

“This win puts us in a positive note going into our region season,” McDavid said. “We know that we can compete with them. We know we want to be the best and that’s our goal. This is a great way to start that.”