The Cochise College Apaches won their seventh straight game Saturday, knocking off the Mesa College Thunderbirds in Mesa.

The energy on defense set the tone early as Apaches stay atop ACCAC standings with a 19-6 record overall, 13-4 in the ACCAC.

The game started with both teams exchanging baskets. With 12 minutes and 43 seconds left in the first half, Mesa held a one-point lead. Freshman Arion Lewis came down and nailed a three to give Cochise a two-point edge, which would lead to a 39-29 halftime. The Apaches did not trail again for the rest of the game.

Lewis finished with a team-high 24 points and six three’s on the night. Sophomore Naje Smith had another big game on the glass reeling in 14 rebounds while contributing 21 points. Sophomore Damon Wall had a solid night with 11 points and nine assists while Freshman Patrick Samoura had nine points and 10 rebounds.

The Apaches had 34 points in the paint while only committing ten turnovers.

“Our guys are starting to figure out that our ability to compete with energy and enthusiasm is the key to our success,” Cochise Head Coach Jerry Carrillo said. “That, combined with going out every day in practice and games to get better, has been the key to this run right now. We need to continue to get better as we chase championships.”

The Apaches host the Jegos from Tohono O’odham Community College on Wednesday, Feb. 12, at the Stronghold Gymnasium in Douglas at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free.

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