BULLHEAD CITY — The Coconino High School Panthers scored the first 12 points of the second quarter to build a big lead on the way to a 56-42 victory over the Mohave High School Thunderbirds on Tuesday night.
Coconino, improving to 6-3 on the season, trailed only once — at 2-0 following the game’s first basket by Mohave’s Brian Ising.
The Panthers scored the next eight points, including 3-pointers by Preston Olney and Avram Tijerin, for an 8-2 lead. After the T-birds closed within 8-7 on Chris Flores’ driving layup and Ising’s 3-pointer, the Panthers turned to senior center William McMenamin for some inside power.
The 6-foot-6 McMenamin came off the bench to score three points in an 8-3 burst by the Panthers to close the first quarter, then had two baskets — including a 3-pointer — in Coconino’s 12-0 burst to open the second quarter. He capped the run with a 3-pointer, making it 28-10 with just over three minutes left in the half.
Sophomore Hayden Williams’ 3-pointer ended Mohave’s scoring drought of just over five minutes. McMenamin played a big role on the defensive end, blocking a pair of Mohave shots and serving as an imposing defender under the rim to stop Mohave’s drive-and-dish attack, forcing the T-birds to shoot from the outside.
The T-birds’ only field goals in the second quarter were 3-pointers — one by Williams and a buzzer-beating shot by Marc Hightower that brought Mohave within 35-17 at the intermission.
Not enough of those shots fell, keeping the T-birds from mounting any serious comeback.
Olney led the Panthers with 15 points. McMenamin added 11 and Jacob Begay scored nine.
Ising scored eight points in the first quarter but was limited because of foul trouble, picking up his third personal late in the second quarter.
Mohave, now 3-4 on the season, will host the Bullhead City Holiday Shootout later this week at the Anderson Auto Group Fieldhouse.