Mesquite overwhelms Marcos de Niza

January 20, 2023 by Les Willsey, AZPreps365

Mesquite's CohenJ Gonzales drives against Marcos de Niza's Rayvell Suggs in Friday's 4A Desert Sky Region game won by Mesquite. (Azpreps365 photo)

Mesquite's boys basketball team didn't dally taking command of its 4A Desert Sky Region game on Friday night. Halfway through the first period the Wildcats owned a 13-2 lead over Marcos de Niza. Their double-digit margin remained intact from that point as they cruised to to a 68-43 victory at Mesquite.

Mesquite, #6 in the latest 4A power-rankings and the defending 4A state champions, remained unscathed in region play. Shawn Lynch's Wildcats are 17-6 overall and 7-0 in region and have won 10 of their last 11 games. Marcos de Niza lost its fourth consecutive game and dipped under the .500 mark for the season at 11-12. The Padres, #27 in the power-rankings, are 1-5 in region. 

Three players scored in double figures for Mesquite. Senior CohenJ Gonzales topped the trio with a game-high 25 points - just shy of his 25.8 scoring average for the season. Nine of his points were tallied in the first quarter that saw the Wildcats build a 22-6 lead. Sophomore Devone Pless added 14 points, 12 in the first half. Junior Jaylen Wollangk chipped in 13 points - six in the first half and seven in the second half. Two players supplied the bulk of Marcos de Niza's scoring - senior Rayvell Suggs (16 points) and senior Charles Clark (12 points).

Mesquite travels to its toughest region opponent - St. Mary's - on Tuesday. St. Mary's is 5-1 in region. Mesquite can clinch the region title with a win over St. Mary's. Mesquite won the first meeting between the teams earlier this month, 88-86. Marcos de Niza seeks its second region win on Tuesday. The Padres host Arcadia, who they defeated 48-39 earlier this month.