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YC boys dispatch Antelope
Brooks Neumann is glad Yuma Catholic was facing Antelope on Friday.
Because of the rivalry between the Shamrocks and Rams, the YC coach wasn't worried about his team looking past Antelope.
Neumann was able to rest his starters late for today's showdown against Arizona Lutheran, but still got strong performances in a 59-43 win at the Yuma Catholic gym.
"I didn't play our starters as much as I should have," said Neumann, whose Shamrocks (9-2 overall, 4-2 2A West Region) entered the night tied with Arizona Lutheran. "I wanted to rest them; I wanted to take a chance so we're ready to go (today).
"I don't meant to say we're taking Antelope lightly, but when ... we get a big lead, that's when I give our starters a chance to rest."
Neumann said he knew his team would be focused on beating its rivals.
"We don't particularly care to lose to Antelope," Neumann said. "If they weren't a rival, we may have came out flat tonight. I think just because it was Antelope, we came out fired up."
The Rams (4-8, 1-5) surrendered 13 of the game's first 15 points, including the first five to Matt Inman, who finished with 16.
The lead shrunk to 22-15 in the second quarter, but Yuma Catholic pushed the lead back to 32-18 at the half.
"They beat us to the punch all night long," Antelope coach John Blabe said. "We're a team that can't make many mistakes, and defensively we didn't do well on the inside."
Brandon Badgley had the big night for the Shamrocks, scoring 20 points - including making his final four 3-pointers. In addition to leading all scorers, he was the game's leading rebounder with nine.
Madison Murdock led Antelope with 13, while Curtis Kelland had 12, all on 3s. His four boards tied for the team lead with two other as the Rams were outrebounded 40-21.
Notes: Murdock and Lukas Killman each had three steals, while Badgley had four. . . . Jayson Koppinger and Ernie Samaniego reached double figures for the Shamrocks, each scoring 10. . . . YC's lead peaked at 59-39. The four straight scored by the Rams in the final 42 seconds was the largest fourth-quarter run for either team.