Turkey Shootout Day One Recap

by Anthony Ray | Posted on Monday, November 20th, 2017

With the 2017-2018 high school basketball season officially getting underway on Monday, there were numerous tournaments taking place across the state on the evening.  I decided to attend a charter school tournament for the time first time ever, as the annual Turkey Shootout took place on Monday with numerous teams in action.  Organized by Skyline Prep HS and head coach Jace Romero and his staff, this event annually features some of the state's top charter school programs.

With numerous teams in action on the evening, I was able to catch an evening game between AZ Compass Prep's high school team and visiting EVAC.  AZ Compass (2-1) actually played in (3) different games on the day as part of the tournament, something I have never seen take place in high school basketball.  EVAC played in (2) different games on Monday.

Both teams had to be tired physically, but neither team showed any ill effects of being tired in the contest.  Both teams played exceptionally hard, as if it was their first game of the day - proving that the season has officially began and the excitement is at it's apex.

EVAC would take a narrow 20-17 lead into the half, after a buzzer-beating basket from 6-foot-6 junior forward Kade Maddock would keep the game tight for AZ Compass.  Compass would also get a strong effort to end the half by 5-foot-11 junior guard Shane Van Huizen.

EVAC, led by the overall play of 6-foot-2 senior guard Christopher Gallegos would keep pace in the game with Compass, as he shot the basketball well and showed good versatility at the guard position for his team - leading his group in every possible way on the floor.  Two consecutive three-pointers from Gallegos would give EVAC a 26-22 lead in the second half with 10 minutes left to play.

After an offensive rebound and put-back by 6-foot-2 senior forward Cayman Fender, EVAC would take a 28-22 lead.

In the second half though, Compass' 5-foot-10 junior point guard Larry Booker would look to take over the game at times on the offensive end - handling the ball with precision and getting to the basket almost at will past defenders.   Booker's exploits would prove to be the ignition his team needed to get going.  After consecutive baskets by Booker, Compass would put to within 2 points of EVAC - 30-28 with 7:48 left to play.

Gallegos would tie the game up for his team after a strong driving layup with 7:28 left to play, but Booker and his teammates would turn it up late to eventually win the game, 39-34 at home.  Both teams will look to be in action again tomorrow.

Notes:  Canyon State will look to be the team to beat in this year's event, other than the defending Division-3 state champions, Skyline Prep, who also won in their only game of the day - a 79-65 win over Southwest Leadership.  Canyon State absolutely blew out their competition on day one - defeating AZ Compass Prep 55-33, and also Skyline Gila River, 74-34.  The team is very talented and deep, and should match-up with Skyline Prep in this year's final game, which will be an exciting one to watch.

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