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Sun, Sept. 15

Prep Basketball: Vols win thrilling battle over Bulldogs

Lee Williams senior Aaron Santos scored 17 points Tuesday night as the Vols tallied a 68-58 win over Kingman High. (Photo by Beau Bearden/Daily Miner)

Lee Williams senior Aaron Santos scored 17 points Tuesday night as the Vols tallied a 68-58 win over Kingman High. (Photo by Beau Bearden/Daily Miner)

KINGMAN – If you stayed home Tuesday night, you missed a crosstown rivalry game for the ages.

The Lee Williams and Kingman high school boys basketball teams put on show worthy of a knockdown, drag-out 12-round bout that the Vols won 68-58 at KHS.

“That’s what you want in an opening night – just a nice battle,” said Bulldogs head coach Nick Juby. “It was a slugfest out there. Everyone was hooked up. There was emotion and intensity. That’s what you love about high school basketball. It’s so much fun to play in that environment.”

Even Vols head coach Cain Atkinson applauded Kingman’s intensity in a game that was knotted 35-35 at the half.

“Kingman played very hard,” Atkinson said. “In the first half they were the team that wanted the ball. They were the team that was attacking the ball. They were the team that was getting on the floor. They did a great job.”

The second half was a different story though.

Lee Williams quickly shifted the momentum in its favor with a 10-0 run for a 45-35 advantage. The Bulldogs didn’t go down without a fight, inching within five points, but that was as close as they would get.

Aaron Santos led the way for the Vols with a game-high 17 points, including 10 in the first half. Santos admitted he was surprised to be the leading scorer, but he played like a wily veteran.

“I just kept focused,” Santos said. “Everyone else was rushing it. I just told myself I was going to stay calm and focus.”

AJ Herrera added 14 points for Lee Williams, while Kade Juelfs scored 12 and Jayden Hooper had eight points.

On the other side of the scorebook, David Hemenway led Kingman with 14 points, followed by Francisco Whatoname with 10 and Jamal Cash with eight points.

“I’m very pleased with the way we played tonight,” Juby said. “If our group continues to be bought in like that and plays with that much emotion, fire, passion and intensity for every team we play – we’re going to win a lot of games this year.”

The Bulldogs are back in action Friday at the Valley Christian Invitational, while the Vols don't return to the floor until Friday, Nov. 30 at the Pagos Pizza Classic in Sedona.

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