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Badgers Sink Last-Second Shot to Get Revenge on Rival Bears

01 February 2017  
Prescott High School students rush the court after beating rival Bradshaw Mountain on a last-second shot on Tuesday January 31st, 2017 in Prescott, Arizona. All Photos by: Torrence Dunham
Badgers' Junior Center Kody Jones Drains Last-Second Three-Point Shot to Beat Rival Bears

PRESCOTT- It was just over a month ago when the Prescott High School Badgers played their rival Bradshaw Bears in Prescott Valley and lost in the last seconds of the game after being ahead for most of the contest. On Tuesday night at Prescott High School, the Badgers were looking for vengeance.

“That’s all we were thinking about is just getting back at them,” said Badgers senior guard Paxton Henry.

In a dome packed with Prescott High School students waving flags dressed in camouflage on one side and a sea of red shirts for Bradshaw on the other side, the Badgers battled the Bears down to final moments.

Down by one point with mere seconds left, Badgers’ junior center Kody Jones would be the hero for his team as Jones drained a three-point basket to put the Badgers ahead for good. Once Bradshaw missed the desperation shot, the student section rushed the court to celebrate the emotional 56-54 victory over their bitter rival.

“We stayed calm in the fourth quarter even when things were not going our way,” Jones said after the game. “We stuck together in the last moments and that’s really what mattered.”

The game was a rollercoaster ride for both teams. The defenses provided a wall in the first quarter as neither team could crack double-digit points.

Once the second quarter began, Prescott High School would go on a 6-0 run before Bradshaw jumped back in the final five minutes and took a 20-18 lead into halftime.

In the third quarter, Prescott High School would once again separate themselves and go on a 8-4 run to begin the quarter only to see Bradshaw Mountain fight back again and go on a 7-3 run of their own in the final two minutes. However, Prescott High School would still end the quarter with a 39-34 lead.

The fourth quarter would prove to be no different as both teams matched blows resulting in a 52-52 tie with 45 seconds left. Bears junior Tim Young would hit a two-point basket to give the Bears a lead but the Badgers had just enough time to take a timeout and drain a last-second three-pointer to pick up the win.

“I felt like we kept showing something that was close to breaking them(Bradshaw), we were almost there, and yet they kept battling,” Badgers head coach Adam Neely said. “I give them a lot of credit, they really worked hard.”

Following a victory against Prescott earlier, the result wasn’t what the Bradshaw players or Bears head coach Matt Simpson wanted but the resiliency of the team showed throughout.

“We talk about mental toughness and going through up and downs,” Bears head coach Matt Simpson said. “They never hung their heads, body language was great, it just speaks to their character and how we’ve grown over the year.”

The rivalry game is a special time as, whether at home or away, both schools will come out in force to support their team and provide a boost to the environment.

“It’s special to have this kind of crowd and these kind students on both sides,” Neely said. “We have such great kids and we are very lucky to have a rivalry situation like this.”

The seniors of both teams witnessed their last high school rivalry game as a player with a bang as the crowd was loud and passionate throughout.

“That’s like nothing else you’ve ever experienced,” said Henry. “You do a simple layup and everybody is screaming, jumping and basically doing backflips in the stands. It gets your energy up.”

The Badgers will now take the momentum from Tuesday night’s victory into their next matchup on Wednesday in Coconino at 7pm.

Meanwhile, the Bears will look to jump back against Lee Williams on Wednesday at home. Tip-off is 7pm.