The Parker Broncs’ boys’ basketball team closed out the 2019-20 regular season with an 82-42 loss to the Trivium Prep Crimson Knights Feb. 11 in Parker. Despite the loss, their post-season hopes are still alive. As of Wednesday, Feb. 12, they are ranked 23rd in Arizona Interscholastic Association power points. The top 24 teams qualify for the tournament or a play-in game.
With the win, the Crimson Knights clinched the 2019-20 2A West title, even though they still have one regular season game left. They’ll play the second-place team, the Arizona Lutheran Academy Coyotes Feb. 13. As of Wednesday, Feb. 12, the Crimson Knights are 7-0 in the region, while the Coyotes are 6-1. Even if Trivium loses that final game and both teams end the season with a 7-1 regional record, Trivium would be declared the champions as they will have the better record against other 2A schools.
Trivium Prep is ranked No. 3 in the state, while Arizona Lutheran is ranked No. 8.
In the game Feb. 11 in Parker, the Crimson Knights got out to an early lead and the Broncs couldn’t catch up. They demonstrated why they are the No. 3 team in the state. They had a 16-point lead at the end of the first quarter, 30-14. That was increased to 54-23 at half-time, and 73-38 at the end of three quarters. The officials just let the clock run in the fourth quarter as Trivium Prep built up their lead ever further, to make the final Trivium Prep 82, Parker 42.
Leo Scott Jr. led the Broncs with 14 points, including making four of six free throws. Josh Openshaw added 11, including four free throws. Eric Poolaw scored 10.
For Trivium Prep, Jake Schliefer was the big gun of the night as he led all scorers with 29 points. Jake Taylor had 17 points, including five three-pointers. Four of those three-pointers were in the first quarter. Hugo Santacruz had 14 points, while John Jeanisse added 13.
This was Senior Night, and the Broncs’ seniors were honored after the game. They included Luis Miller, Ryan Messer, Bill Alcaida and Josh Openshaw.
The Broncs end the season with a record of 3-5 against their 2A West rivals, 6-6 against other 2A teams, and 8-10 overall. They’re in fourth place in the 2A West behind Trivium Prep, Arizona Lutheran and Tonopah Valley. Tonopah Valley has the same record against 2A teams as Parker, 3-5, but they have a better record against 2A schools, 8-7, than Parker’s record, 6-6.
If Trivium Prep and Arizona Lutheran maintain their rankings, they will both qualify for the state tournament as the top eight teams automatically qualify. If the Broncs remain in No. 23, they’ll play the No. 10 team in a play-in game Feb. 19 on the road. As of Feb. 12, that team was the St. Augustine Wolves.
Parker High Athletic Director Dan Maya said they should know the final rankings and bracket placings later this week.