Duarte’s ‘best game of the year’ leads Superior past Ray

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Superior Panthers

  Superior junior Nathan Duarte scored a game and season-high 26 points in the Panthers’ 54 – 44 victory against rival Ray last Friday night in Kearny. 

  “(Nathan) He did a great job attacking the zone defense and pulling up for the midrange jumper,” Superior head coach Ryan Palmer said afterwards. “He made 13-of-18 free throws. He played his best game of the year.”

  In addition to his 26-point effort, Duarte grabbed seven rebounds and dished out an assist. Senior Julian Navarro led the Panthers with nine rebounds and four steals. Junior Adam Navarrette finished with 10 points, seven rebounds, a pair of steals, and an assist. He was a perfect 6-of-6 from the free-throw line.

  The Panthers pulled down 34 rebounds in the win and shot 76 percent from the charity stripe.

“Our rebounding was solid, and we limited our turnovers,” Palmer said. “We made free throws and that proved to be the difference.” 

  With three remaining games in the regular season, the No. 22 Panthers must win out to have any chance of earning a playoff berth. 

  “We set goals; however, we need to win out to have a shot at accomplishing them,” Palmer said. “(It’s) not an easy task, but possible. We are finally executing and playing solid basketball, but it may be a case of too little, too late.”

  Perhaps, but it’s not over until it’s over.

  Up next: Jan. 30 at Arete Prep and Jan. 31 vs. Cibecue/Dischii Biko.

Andy Luberda (1141 Posts)

Andrew Luberda began writing for Copper Area News Publishers (CANP) in February 2013 after working 15 years in Healthcare Financial Management. Andy covers sports for 11 high schools. His stories are published in Copper Basin News, San Manuel Miner and Superior Sun, in addition to the San Tan Valley Daily PRSS and CopperArea websites. Additionally, he has written human interest stories and business profiles. In May 2012, he earned an AAS in Sports Management at Central Arizona College before graduating with a BS in Communication from Arizona State University in 2014. He and his wife, Kelli, have three sons – AJ, Kyle, and Kade.


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