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Oree Foster
Staff Writer, AZPreps365.com

Hoops: Chinle senior Cooper Burbank lights up for 42 points; Lady 'Cats win

December 22, 2019 by Oree Foster, AZPreps365


BOYS

CHINLE 93, PARADISE HONORS 87 (2 OT'S)

Chinle Wildcats 6-foot-3 senior guard Cooper Burbank was due.

Burbank delighted the crowd with his uncanny shooting performance. Burbank picked apart Paradise Honor's defense with his patent sweet shot.

Burbank performed like last year's 3A First Team All-Stater form. Burbank turned in a stellar performance before Chinle's hometown crowd in the Wildcat Den on Saturday afternoon.

Burbank was on fire throughout the afternoon, knocking down  "J" after "J" from the perimeter and from beyond the three-point arc.

Burbank showed Paradise Honors' defense who is 'boss'.

Burbank lit up Paradise Honors for a season high 42 points to help lead Chinle to a 93-87 double overtime freedom game victory over the Paradise Honors Panthers, of Surprise, Arizona.

Chinle head coach Raul Mendoza said the victory was a great team effort and great individual effort by Burbank.

"It was a great team effort and a great individual game by Cooper (Burbank)," Mendoza said. "Yes .... we went to Cooper (Burbank). He was able to deliver. He was the 'mailman' tonight."

In an uptempo first quarter, Chinle took a one point lead, 21-20 at the end of the first quarter. Paradise Honors stormed back in the second period. The Panthers outscored the Wildcats, 20-15, to take a 40-36 halftime advantage.

The Panthers netted 21 points, while the Wildcats poured in 15 in the third quarter. Paradise Honors held a 61-51 lead at the end of the third quarter. Chinle stepped up on both ends of the floor in the fourth quarter, offensively.

The Wildcats knocked down 19 points and the Panthers managed nine points, trying the contest 70-70, sending the game into its first overtime.

Chinle and Paradise Honors traded baskets throughout the first overtime. The Wildcats and Panthers both cashed in 10 points apiece, ending the first overtime at 80-80. Chinle outscored Paradise Honors, 13-7, in the second overtime for a six-point victory.

Malik Bahe added 14 points for Chinle. Payton Wagner and Curtis Begay both tallied nine points apiece for the Wildcats.

6-foot-1 strong guard Wyatt Bell led Paradise Honors with 23 points. 6-feet senior guard Austin Golish and 6-foot-3 junior guard Jalen Scott both tallied 18 points for the Panthers. 6-foot-2 sophomore guard Blessing Nwotite poured in 17 points for Paradise Honors.

Chinle improved to 7-4 overall. Paradise Honors dropped to 5-4 overall.

GIRLS

CHINLE 48, PARADISE HONORS 29

Chinle Lady Wildcats improved to 6-3 overall, after defeating the Paradise Honors Panthers in a freedom game played on Saturday afternoon in the Wildcat Den in Chinle.

Chinle turned in a strong first quarter, pouring in 19 points. Paradise Honors managed seven points. The Lady Wildcats extended its lead to 13 points, 28-15 at halftime, after outpointing the Panthers, 9-8.

Chinle continued to shoot well in tnird quarter, canning 13 points to Paradise Honors' nine points. The Lady Wildcats held a 41-24 advantage after three quarters. Chinle scored seven points to the Panthers' five points during the fourth period.

Topping Paradise Honors offensively was Scarie Eberlein with nine points.

Aisha Ashley poured in 13 points and Meishyla Begay added 11 points for Chinle.

Chinle head coach Francine McCurtain said she is always happy to get all the girls on the court to play.

"This is (playing) part of development, because sometimes we have a right six to seven player rotation for tough games, but for today, playing everyone gives us a good vibe for girls to gain experience."

McCurtain said it is important for the team to jump out to a lead, but keeping it and continuing to build on it (lead), seems to be a major struggle for the team now.

"The Christmas break will definitely help us clear up some weaknesses and be ready for conference play in January," McCurtain said. "We will be hitting up the Chandler Prep Tournament right after New Year's."