The Parker Broncs’ girls’ basketball team got off to a rousing start on 2020 after coming back from their winter break with two of the most lopsided games they’ve played so far this season. First, they defeated the Heritage Academy Heroes of Laveen, Ariz., 82-32, Jan. 9 in Parker. This was also their first game against a 2A West region opponent.

Then, on Jan. 10, the Broncs defeated the Santa Cruz Valley Dust Devils of Eloy, 69-14. This was the second time the Broncs defeated the Dust Devils this season. The Dust Devils scored 5 more points against the Broncs than they did Dec. 20 in Eloy, but the Broncs scored 21 more.

The game against Heritage Academy started out lopsided and just got even more so as the game moved along. Just three minutes into the first quarter, the Broncs had scored 11 points. From there, they just kept building their lead. They were up 27-9 at the end of the first quarter and 52-13 at half-time. The Heroes managed to score more points in the second half than they did in the first half, but it wasn’t nearly enough.

The Broncs were up 70-25 as the fourth quarter started, and the officials decided to let the clock run in the fourth quarter. When the massacre was over, the final score was Broncs 82, Heroes 32.

At least the Heritage Academy girls fared better than the boys, who lost to the Broncs in their game, 84-22.

Aleesha Begaye, who had missed some earlier games due to illness, was the Broncs’ top scorer with 20 points, including hitting a pair of three-pointers. Tallia Robeldo had 13 points, while DeAndrea Robledo added 12. Tyra Robledo had 10 points, including hitting four-of-six free throws. Zahrah Schultz had 9 points and hit three of four free throws. Zariah Tahbo added 6 points.

Coach Larissa Hansen said this was a great start to region play. She added she had only 10 players available, as some players weren’t able to play for a variety of reasons.

“Everyone got to play,” she said.

The game against Santa Cruz Valley looked like a boxing match that the referee would’ve stopped in the first round. By the end of the first quarter, it was Parker 26, Santa Cruz Valley 3. The Dust Devils put some points on the board in the second quarter, but so did the Broncs. At half-time, the score was Broncs 47, Dust Devils 12.

The second half was even more of a disaster for the Dust Devils. They scored just two points, while the Broncs built up their lead even more. With Parker ahead 57-14 at the end of three quarters, the officials made the decision just to run the clock for the fourth quarter. When as brief tussle led to a foul situation with 40 seconds left, the officials ended the game with the final score, Broncs 69, Dust Devils 14.

Hansen described Santa Cruz Valley as a young, scrappy team. She noted many of their players also play junior varsity.

The game created the opportunity for all the Broncs’ players to get into the game, Hansen said. Some of the second stringers put in impressive performances.

Aleesha Begaye led the Broncs with 15 points, including a pair of three-pointers and making three out of four free throws. Tallia Robledo and one of the second stringers, Kalee Esquerra, each had 14 points. Casandra Sandoval and Demi Durham each had 7, and DeAndrea Robledo added 6.

The Parker girls are now 1-0 against their 2A West rivals, 3-1 against other 2A teams, and 6-2 overall. They’re in First Place in the 2A West, and are ranked 17th overall in 2A. They are the only team in the 2A West to have a winning record against 2A teams.

The Broncs have two games next week, both on the road. They’ll play the Kingman Academy Tigers on Monday, Jan. 13 and the Tonopah Valley Phoenix on Friday, Jan. 17. Their next home game will be Tuesday, Jan. 21, when they play the Arizona Lutheran Academy Coyotes. This will be a region game. Game time in the O.B. Francis Gym is set for 6 p.m.

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