KINGMAN – The Kingman High School boys basketball team waited 13 long years to return to the state tournament. Unfortunately, the Bulldogs couldn’t pull off a win in a 42-32 setback at ninth-seeded Page Wednesday night in the first round of the 3A State Championship.
“We just couldn’t hit shots,” said Kingman head coach Nick Juby. “In the playoffs, weaknesses become bigger and we haven’t been great shooting all year. The success we had this season though was great. We set out to make the state tournament and we did that. I couldn’t be more proud of this group of guys and they were such a fun group to coach.”
No. 24 seed Kingman fell into an 11-4 hole after the first quarter and never recovered. The Bulldogs did keep it interesting though. They only trailed by one at halftime, 16-15, and were within three points, 30-27, after the third quarter.
However, the offense went cold in the fourth – Kingman scored just five points, while the Sand Devils (12-6) scored 12 to advance to the semifinals.
Tucker Humble led the Bulldogs with 14 points, while Elijah Howery scored 12. The trio of Tobias Bagby, Christian Demme and Quanah Quasula added two points each.
Kingman finishes the season at 9-10 and loses eight seniors to graduation in Bagby, Howery, Demme, Quasula, Jaime Baca, Junior Herrera, Gage Plummer, and Anthony Siyuja.
2A State Tourney
Thatcher 63, Kingman Academy 51
At Thatcher, the Kingman Academy boys basketball team entered the fourth quarter with a two-point lead, but couldn’t hold on as ninth-seeded Thatcher used a large run to pick up a 63-51 victory Wednesday night in a play-in game of the 2A State Championship.
No. 24 seed Academy looked in good shape in the final quarter after outscoring the Eagles by a 16-11 margin in the third quarter. However, Thatcher (13-6) quickly responded with a 22-1 run to end the Academy’s season.
The Tigers led by two after the first quarter, 10-8, but then trailed 26-23 at the half. The offense struggled in the fourth as the Academy tallied just one basket and scored its other 10 points from the free-throw line.
Tyler Chinyere led the Tigers with 17 points, while Nate Perea scored 10. The duo of Bradley Hecker and Stevie Wusstig chipped in seven points each.
The Academy ends its year with an overall record of 9-10 and will look to replace five seniors that graduate in Hecker, Kannon Butler, Logan Day, Zach Matthes and Donny Tatham.