Blogs / Features
Les WillseyStaff Writer, AIA365.com email@example.com
Joe Partain's memorial service Feb. 2; plus other notesJan 31, 2013
A memorial service for former Coolidge, Casa Grande and Chandler high boys basketball coach Joe Partain is set for Saturday Feb. 2.
Partain, who passed away on Jan. 12, compiled a career record of 421 wins and 267 losses in his three-school stop as a head coach. He guided Coolidge to a state title in 1976 and Chandler to one in 1984. The service will take place at 2 p.m. at Las Palmas Clubhouse, 215 N. Power Road in Mesa. Partain will be remembered for his gentle, but competitive spirit. He was highly-respected by coaching and teaching peers and players alike.
SOCCER SEEDS FLEX MUSCLES: With the first rounds of the Division I through Division III state soccer tournaments (boys and girls) in the books, high seeds are protecting their turf.
In the opening-round girls' matches, the high seed won 22 of 24. Division I was 8-0 for high seeds and Divisions II and III were 7-1. The only breakthroughs by lower seeds were No. 10 Notre Dame in D-II and No. 11 Catalina in D-III. The boys side saw a few more low-seeds prevail, but high seeds held a 19-5 advantage. D-I breakthroughs were modest -- No. 9 Hamilton and No. 10 San Luis. D-II was 7-1 for high seeds with No. 14 Apollo the lone dissenter. D-III was 6-2 with No. 9 Fountain Hills and No. 15 Amphitheater topping No. 8 and No. 2 seeds, respectively.
CORONA BOYS, SETON GIRLS BATTLE LATE-SEASON INJURIES: Nearly every team and every sport deals with injuries or illness at some point in three-month season. That's hit home for defending Division I boys champ Corona del Sol and struck defending Division II girls champ Seton Catholic harder recently.
Corona has dropped two games in a row to Hamilton and Dobson. Junior standout Casey Benson injured an ankle late in the Hamilton loss on Jan. 25, but finished the game. Coach Sam Duane Jr. sat Benson in Tuesday's loss at Dobson. Benson's absence isn't expected to be long term.
"He wanted to play, but we wanted to play it safe and give him a game off," Duane Jr. said. "He worked through (Wednesday) and I think he should play tonight (Thursday)." Corona dropped from the top power-ranking spot to No. 4 after those losses.
Meanwhile, Seton's girls were dealt a blow Tuesday night in its attempt to repeat with a knee injury to starting guard Anne Marie Holter in a 43-38 win over Higley. Seton coach Karen Self found out Wednesday that Holter suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament and is done for the season. The Lady Sentinels have kept on eye on the minutes of junior post Julia Barcello the last couple weeks with a tender ankle. Seton hosts Coronado Thursday (Jan. 31) and visits Higley on Friday (Feb 1) in a rematch to close the regular season. Seton currently is unbeaten in power-ranking games and is No. 2 in D-II slightly behind Bradshaw Mountain.
MTN. POINTE, DESERT VISTA BOYS HOOPS ON THE EDGE: Ahwatukee rivals Mountain Pointe and Desert Vista are scratching and clawing to qualify for sectionals and state in boys basketball. Their chances come down to Thursday (Jan. 31) and Friday (Feb. 1).
Mountain Pointe is the host team, but the host site this evening is U.S. Airways Center for the Pride's battle with Desert Vista. Coach Aaron Windler's team is 21st in the current Division I power rankings. Desert Vista is No. 24. Tonight is Desert Vista's final regular-season game while Mountain Pinte concludes Friday (Feb. 1) at Gilbert.
The top 24 teams qualify for state, but if neither Mountain Pointe or Desert Vista qualifies for its sectional tournament their chances of going to state given their current seeds are greatly reduced. Mountain Pointe is 9th at present in Section 3 and Desert Vista is 11th in Section 3. To qualify for sectionals, teams must finish in the top eight of their section. Any team that qualifies for sectionals and wins its first-round, section tournament game earns an automatic berth to state, regardless of power-ranking.