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Prep Boys Basketball: Apple Valley's Roach takes over

Senior lifts Sun Devils into tie for second in MRL

APPLE VALLEY • With a potential playoff spot in the balance, Apple Valley’s JT Roach took over in the fourth quarter to help the Sun Devils to a Mojave River League victory.

Apple Valley beat Sultana 84-70 on Thursday night to improve to 6-4 in league play and move into a tie with Serrano for second place with two games to go.

Roach hit two free throws, knocked down a 3-pointer from the corner, ran back on defense and delivered a crushing block, then drove the lane for a basket all in about 30 seconds midway through the fourth quarter. Roach scored 14 of his game-high 24 points in the fourth.

“It was all flowing for me,” Roach said. “The ball rotation was (good) and the momentum was going so those shots I’ll usually knock down when my teammates need me. Ever since then I picked it up from there.”

Sultana (10-12, 5-6 MRL) immediately took a timeout, but the damage was done. Roach took a 57-53 game and made it a 64-53 game to re-ignited the home crowd.

The turning point before Roach’s outburst came as play and tempers started to heat up.

Roach and Sultana’s Alonzo Brazel came face to face, and Brazel was assessed a double technical and ejected. Roach was given just a technical and then went on his run.

Roach laughed off the incident, which he said was due to fourth quarter emotions.

He had just five points at halftime and 10 heading to the fourth quarter. He was hardly a non-factor though, as he finished the game with nine assists.

“My shots just weren’t falling,” Roach said. “I was doing what I could, shots just weren’t falling for me.”

The teams were embattled in a tight game before that fourth quarter run. Apple Valley (13-9) took a 32-30 lead into halftime and the teams were knotted at 48 entering the fourth quarter.

Although Roach’s performance helped clinch the win, Apple Valley coach Joel Lewis said he was proud of the all-around effort. Four different players scored in double figures — Roach, Sheldon Lovett with 18, Antoine Brown with 17 and Darnell Crouch with 14. Crouch added nine rebounds and Brown grabbed eight boards.

De’Zhawn Clophia led Sultana in scoring with 23 points. L.J. Harrie had 22 and Brian Enriquez added 19.

SULTANA (70)
Clophia 23, Harrie 22, Enriquez 19, Hamilton 2, Brazel 2, Kirkwood 2.
APPLE VALLEY (84)
Roach 24, Lovett 18, Brown 17, Crouch 14, Yost 4, Brady 3, Clarke 2, LaMar 2..

Sultana    15    15    18    22    —    70
Apple Valley    18    14    16    36    —     84

3-point field goals — Sultana 5 (Enriquez 2, Harrie 2, Clophia); Apple Valley 6 (Lovett 3, Roach 2, Brady). Fouled out — Brazel (S). Technical Foul — Brazel (S), Bench (S); Roach (A). Ejected — Brazel (S).

Matthew Peters can be reached at mpeters@vvdailypress.com or (760) 955-5365.


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