The Parker Broncs boys’ basketball team lost their first game of the season this past week, but it was to the toughest team they’ve played so far, and traditionally one of the toughest teams in the state, the Yuma Catholic Shamrocks. They lost to the Shamrocks, 70-64, Dec. 13 in Parker.

It was a game where the Broncs led most of the way. It wasn’t until late in the third quarter that the Shamrocks took the lead and kept it for the rest of the game.

The Broncs led 35-30 at half-time, but then the Shamrocks began pressing hard. They took a 36-35 lead with 5:27 left in the third quarter, but the Broncs quickly regained the lead. With 1:52 left in the quarter, the Shamrocks again took the lead, and they held on to it this time.

The Shamrocks were never quite able to pull away from the hard-pressing Broncs. With just 42 seconds left, the Broncs closed to within three points, 66-63. However, that would be as close as they would get.

Austin Allen led the Broncs with 15 points. Jason Amador had 13, including two three-pointers and three free throws. Estevan Moreno had 12 points, including a three-pointer and three free throws. Cody Weathersby had 11 points. Josh Openshaw had 8 points, all on free throws.

“This was the best team we’ve played so far this season, and we played them tough,” Parker Coach Rolland Hansen said. “Everybody was playing hard. It was a good team effort.”

Hansen said the team learned from this game they need to work on their rebounding.

“Rebounding is what killed us,” he said.

Hansen said the Broncs are a good team, and they’re finally building some confidence in themselves.

“They’re starting to get it,” he said.

The Broncs had two other games last week, both on the road, and they won both of them. They played the Leading Edge Academy Spartans of Gilbert Dec. 11 and won, 61-54. Hansen said the Broncs were behind by three points at half-time, but they came out and built a lead in the second half.

Openshaw had 26 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Amador scored 18 points and grabbed 5 rebounds.

The Broncs went to Eloy Dec. 14, and they came away with a 76-68 win over the Santa Cruz Valley Dust Devils. The Broncs had something happen in that game that Hansen said he hadn’t seen before:  three players score 20 or more points. Amador had 25 points, Shane Robledo had 22, and Este Moreno added 21.

The team also showed improvement at rebounding, with Openshaw and Weathersby each grabbing nine.

“They played very well after a long road trip,” Hansen said. “We did a good job on the road last week.”

The Broncs are now 2-0 against other 2A teams, and they are 4-1 overall. They have two games this week, both at home. They’ll play the Needles, Calif. Mustangs Dec. 17 and the Kingman Academy Tigers Dec. 18. These games are part of double-headers with the girls’ team, so game times are approximate. The Dec. 17 game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m., while the Dec. 18 game is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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