Over the weekend the Northland Preparatory Academy basketball team placed fourth in the 18th Annual Route 66 Holiday Basketball Classic in Williams, Ariz.

The faced the Williams Vikings in their first game at 10 a.m. on Thursday morning. Unfortunately, the Spartans lost to the Vikings, 42-48, which automatically made them ineligible to play in the championship game. Head coach, Lorenzo Rodriguez attributes their loss to the fact that Olivia Nelson, McKenna Nelson, and Megan Netherton were absent for the first day of the tournament due to educational commitments.

That same afternoon, the Spartans beat the Chino Valley Cougars, 53-28. The following day, the Spartans met Yuma Catholic for the first time since last year’s tournament. Olivia, McKenna, and Megan were able to attend the game. However, early in the first half, Annie sprained her ankle after coming down on someone’s foot after an attempted layup. Annie could not play for the remainder of the tournament.

Later in the tournament, the Spartans beat the Joseph City Wildcats, 32-34, in a close game. Also, they beat the Ash Fork Spartans, 43-21, for fourth place in the tournament.

“Joe City won the championship game, and we beat them,” said Rodriguez. “We still have a lot to work on. They played well but I told them, for the past year or so that we need to learn how to play without Annie because they depend on her too much.”

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