By Daniel Dullum
Freshman Tavares Broady enjoyed his second big game of the week on Jan. 19, sparking Imagine Prep-Superstition to a 49-42 CAA Division III boys basketball victory over visiting Heritage Academy-Laveen on Jan. 19.
Tavares finished with 18 points, 16 rebounds, one steal and one assist, as the Panthers improved to 8-1 overall while winning their seventh consecutive game.
“Tavares has found his groove,” Panthers Coach Travis Gordon said. “He’s starting to play well, and we knew he would become one of our main contributors. He’s starting to relax, let the game come to him, shots come to him, and being a leader out there.”
The talented freshman agreed, saying, “I’m finally getting a hold on things and it’s going pretty well.
“It was tough out there tonight. Against ALA-Gilbert, I was getting my shots. Tonight, I started slow before I found my groove – 18 points and 16 boards, I can’t complain on that!”
Jorge Garcia finished with a slash line of five points, five assists, five steals and five rebounds.
“Jorge is valuable to this team,” Gordon said. “I want him to be more aggressive defensively and he’s doing exactly that. He’s penetrating the gaps in the zones, and he’s trying to do the right thing. I’d like him to get more shots because he’s passing up shots. He’s so unselfish.
“But I got great defense from him tonight, great energy. There are things that don’t get in the stat book, and Jorge bought in to that.”
Anthony Lerma’s layup gave the Panthers a 45-30 lead with 2:18 left in the fourth quarter. Heritage crept back to within 48-42 on a 3-pointer by E. Sebastian Castillo with 6.2 seconds remaining.
“I told them to just keep playing,” Gordon said. “I know we’ve got a lot of talent who thrive in that situation. When the game gets close, they don’t back down.
“I didn’t want (Heritage) to make another late run, so we slowed the game down.”
Isiah Broady scored nine points for IPS, followed by Lerma with eight, and Wayne Young with five. Dallas Pina was held to four points, but the senior forward collected three assists, nine rebounds and six steals.
Zion Henderson and Darius Alexander led Heritage with 15 and 11 points, respectively.
Two days earlier, the Panthers held off American Leadership Academy-Gilbert 62-57. Tavares Broady scored 23 points to go with 10 rebounds and two steals. He also hit 3-of-5 3-pointers.
Dallas Pina contributed 16 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and four steals for IPS. Jorge Garcia had six points and seven assists, Anthony Lerma had seven points and seven rebounds, and Isiah Broady finished with seven points, four assists and four rebounds.
Imagine Prep-Coolidge visited the Panther Arena on Jan. 19 and upended Imagine Prep-Superstition 42-15.
“We were missing our starting point guard and shooting guard,” Lady Panthers Coach Nick Margot said. “We only had our post players as backups to come in and play wing positions.
“It was a tough game, but we’ll persevere through it.”
Nevaeh Guerrero hit a pair of 3-pointers and led IPS with eight points, and Jenna Heidemann added six. Calhauli Sanchez netted a game-high 26 points for IP-Coolidge.