The Apache Junction Prospectors (0-5) matched up against the Goldwater Bulldogs (0-1) for their home opener on Thursday, Dec. 1, at Apache Junction High School. Both teams were trying to finally reach the win column on the season.
After a delay waiting for the Junior Varsity game to conclude, the game tipped off at 7:18. The first quarter was back and forth, as neither team could seemingly hold a lead for long, but an early technical foul on Mason Roets swayed momentum for the Bulldogs as they took an early lead to end the first quarter 16-11.
The Prospectors Achilles’ heel for this matchup was the turnovers, as errant passes enabled the Bulldogs to jump to a 26-15 lead before halftime. And despite the fouls being even for both teams, the Prospectors were unable to capitalize at the free-throw line.
Unfortunately for the Prospectors, first-half struggles carried over into the third quarter, as missed passes and struggles from deep only equated to a two-point quarter from Apache Junction. Goldwater was able to capitalize and extend to 33 points at the conclusion of the quarter with the score at 33-17.
The Prospectors tried desperately to climb back into the game, as they went on an exciting 8-2 run to begin the quarter.
Unfortunately, more turnovers and the inability to capitalize on the many fouls Goldwater committed halted the Prospectors’ final score to 31. The game concluded 47-31 and Goldwater acquired its first win of the season.
The Skyline Coyotes came to visit the Apache Junction prospectors at Apache Junction High School on Friday, Dec. 2. The Prospectors were still looking for their first win of the season while the Coyotes were looking for their second.
Once the Junior Varsity game concluded, tip off began at 7:20. The first quarter swung back in forth, with Point Guard Reymend Hernandez hitting an early three to begin the scoring for Apache Junction. And with some early fouls and turnovers from Skyline, the first quarter ended with a low score of 8-6 with the Coyotes in the lead.
Fouls continued to play a big part in the game for both teams. The Prospectors had a poor mix of fouls along with some key players of Hernandez and Mason Roets dealing with injuries throughout the quarter. This enabled Skyline to take a nine-point 25-16 lead over Apache Junction with a three-point buzzer-beater shot from Elier Hernandez of the Coyotes.
The second half was all Elier Hernandez’s as the Prospectors could not stop him in either quarter. The Coyotes seemingly took this energy that Hernandez brought and ran with it for the remainder of the quarter holding a 41-27 lead.
The momentum that Skyline had in the third did not die down over the one-minute break between quarters as Hernandez continued to torch the Prospectors and won the game 58-34.
Editor’s note: Isaac Robertson is a high school intern who currently covers sports writing for Apache Junction Unified School District. He is a senior at Mesa Virtual Campus, is to graduate this December, and plans to attend ASU with a major in sports journalism.