Prep Basketball: Tigers to host Yuma Catholic in 3A State Tournament
KINGMAN – It’s been a few years, but the Kingman Academy High School boys basketball team has a history with Yuma Catholic.
The former Division III, Section II foes will rekindle their rivalry at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the first round of the 3A State Championship at Betty Rowe Gymnasium.
The No. 15 seed Tigers (11-5) enter the contest on a two-game winning streak, while the No. 18 seed Shamrocks (10-7) ended the regular season with a 46-45 loss to Valley Christian.
And it’s only fitting the winner of Wednesday night's contest will travel to Phoenix’s Desert Vista High at 7:30 p.m. Saturday to face No. 2 seed Valley Christian.
But with that fact aside, Academy and Yuma Catholic’s history features five meetings – with the most recent being in Lake Havasu’s Knight Invitational on Jan. 9, 2016 where the Shamrocks won 69-46.
That meeting doesn’t show the real story though.
The teams have split their four meetings during the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons. The Tigers found success in the regular season meetings, while Yuma Catholic won their games in the postseason.
The Shamrocks won 50-40 during a section tournament contest on Feb. 11, 2015, while Academy tallied a 58-53 victory earlier in the season on Jan. 30 at Yuma Catholic.
Those meetings don’t mean anything Wednesday night as the Tigers look to keep their season alive.
Tyler Chinyere will be a critical part of that happening as the senior leads Academy with 22.3 points and 14.6 rebounds per game.
Nate Perea is close behind with 13.5 points and a team-high 6.2 assists per contest.
The Shamrocks counter with Randall Voutt’s 18.8 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, while John Henderson is averaging 5.4 assists and 3.8 steals per contest.
With all the numbers aside, it should be an exciting contest in a packed Betty Rowe Gymnasium as the Tigers look for their first state tournament win since the 2013-14 season.