If you have quickness and athleticism, there is no sense in letting them to go to waste.
The boys basketball team from Phoenix Cortez certainly doesn’t.
From the opening tip against visiting Flagstaff Northland Prep on Friday night (Jan. 17), the Colts were pressuring the Spartans to turn the ball over and running the fast break.
They didn’t let up until the final buzzer and walked away with an 83-49 victory.
Cortez raised its record to 14-1, and Northland Prep fell to 13-5.
“We have to do that (pressure). We are quick and unselfish,’’ said Cortez coach Tarik James. “It wasn’t just tonight. We need to do it no matter who we’re playing.’’
The Colts will need to rest up before applying the pressure again in their next game, on Tuesday (Jan. 21) at home against Phoenix Scottsdale Christian Academy, the defending state runner-up. SCA was second in Division III power points entering this week, Cortez was ninth and Northland Prep seventh.
Cortez led Northland Prep by five points at the end of the first quarter and had more than doubled that halfway through the second. Northland Prep did not score its first points of the quarter until the 4:34 mark.
The Colts blew it open in the third quarter, outscoring the Spartans 22-8.
James said his team has more balance on offense than it did a year ago when guard Jorrell Smith carried the load and was named azcentral.com’s Small Schools Player of the Year.
“Other people have needed to step up, and they have,’’ James said.
The Colts had four men score in double figures and had two other players with nine points.
Guard Avery Smith, a transfer from nearby Glendale Apollo, led the way with 17 points. Octavius Holguin and Jordyn Loggins had 14 each and Danny Cervantes had 10.
Braxton Hibbert led Northland Prep with 17 points, 13 coming on free throws. Clay McDaniel scored 11 points, including three 3-pointers.