On Wednesday, February 6th I watched the 2nd game of the night at Desert Ridge High School for a sectional match-up for Division-I, Section II - the #2 seed Gilbert Tigers (21-6) versus #7 seed Buena Colts (20-9).
Gilbert HS 6-foot-6 junior forward Spencer Nicolds started the game off with a deep 3-pointer for a 3-0 lead. Then 6-foot-8 sophomore post Truman Moore scored an easy basket for a 5-0 lead. Nicolds would hit another deep three for an 8 to 0 lead, before Truman Moore would score on another basket inside for a 10 to 0 lead for Gilbert HS.
Buena called a time-out and also looked timid and maybe even outclassed.
Buena 6-foot sophomore wing Nick Mohave finally scored for Buena on a tough shot inside for a 10 to 3 lead for Gilbert. But then 6-foot-9 freshman forward Wyatt Lowell got into the act and scored on a mid-range shot for a 12 to 3 lead for Gilbert.
After one quarter of play, the score would be 14 to 3 for Gilbert. Not the way you would want to start for an underdog - down 11 in the first quarter.
The second period started with Buena's 6-foot-3 senior wing Rashawn Avery collecting a steal and scoring a bucket, followed by a nice floater by 5-foot-10 sophomore PG Roderick Springer for a 14 to 7 lead - the first sign of life in the game for Buena.
Unfortunately, Gilbert would finish the quarter on a 6-2 run for a 20 to 9 lead at the half.
Truman Moore had 6 points and Spencer Nicolds had 8 points for Gilbert. Buena needed to pick it up quickly or it would be a long ride back to Tucson.
The third started and Moore went back to work again down low for two more for a 22 to 9 lead.
Buena would get a three-pointer from Rashwan Avery for a 22 to 12 lead for Gilbert.
Gilbert 6-foot-3 senior wing Connor Helvig scored on a beautiful pull-up for two points for a 24 to 12 lead. Then Moore with two more strong points down low for a 26 to 12 lead for Gilbert. Truman then hit a tough shot from 10 feet away, followed by Buena's Luke Reynolds who hit his own 10-foot shot for a 28 to 14 lead for Gilbert.
The third period would end with Gilbert holding on to a 28 to 15 lead.
The fourth period was more of the same for Gilbert, as they outscored Buena 15-12 for a 43 to 27 win in the 1st round of the sectional playoffs.
Gilbert will match-up with Hamilton HS in the next round. Gilbert's size and length was a huge factor for their great defense of Buena. Spencer Nicolds really played well and proved to be a key to the game tonight. Nicolds finished with 17 points on an efficient 6-for-9 from the field. Moore also added 12 points in the win.
Buena’s leading scorer was senior Rashawn Avery with 11 points in the loss. Even though they lost, they have a nice future with 4 starters all being sophomores.
Quick Hitters: 5-foot-9 junior starting PG Anthony Bryant from Gilbert HS will not play for the entire week, because of a concussion he suffered in a previous game.