On the first day of the Horizon Invitational basketball tournament Deer Valley handed reigning 2A state champions Scottsdale Christian Academy their first loss of the season. The 56-57 final score was also SCA's first loss since their third game of last season.
Deer Valley controlled the first half by capitalizing on Scottsdale Christian mistakes to build a 12 point lead. Things turned around in the second half as SCA cut the lead down to four late in the third quarter and then again mid way through the fourth quarter after DV pressed back.
With a minute left in the game the lead was down to one for Deer Valley. However, Darius Watkins made an athletic shot near the basket to go back up by three points.
After getting fouled on a missed three pointer Jake Cipolletti had another chance to tie the game. The first two free throws found the bottom of the bucket while the third circled the bowl before rolling off of the rim.
A quick foul was taken with about seven seconds left in the game but DV's Connor Cotterman, the game's leading scorer, missed the front end of a one-and-one. SCA recovered the rebound but before they could get the ball up the court for a fast break the defense was all over them in a press. A desperate pass down court was intercepted and Deer Valley held on to win.
Connor Cotterman (Deer Valley, 2011) Despite missing the front end of a one-and-one at the end of the game, Cotterman was a key factor in the win and led all players with 23 points. He has a good jump shot that he can hit from beyond the arch and also has good ball skills.
Tre Ogles (Deer Valley, 2012) The 6-foot-2 guard was the most athletic kid on the court with a nice skill set to compliment. He is the leading scorer for his team this season.
Jake Cipolletti (SCA, 2011) Teams have to cover this pure shooter. With 22 points, he was draining shots and helped SCA get back into the game. He was also very aggressive and found himself in places to make plays on offense. This year he is averaging just over 20 points a game.
Tuff Barnes (SCA, 2011) At 6-foot-6, he has the most upside and college potential. He pulled down a double-double with 20 points and 14 rebounds. It is no surprise to learn he is averaging over nine boards a game this season. He is not the strongest kid for his height but he adds constant hustle on the court and a growing knowledge of the game.