AIA365 Staff Insiders
Don KetchumStaff Writer, AIA365.com email@example.com
The 2012-13 basketball season was one to rememberMar 1, 2013
The 2012-13 high school basketball season is gone, but not forgotten.
Here are a few things I remember about the recently completed season . . .
*It was a great final four in Division III girls’ play. Exciting as always. Congrats to Winslow for winning it all, and to runner-up Sanders Valley for throwing its hat into the ring of the elite.
*One of the main reasons why Scottsdale Saguaro was able to capture the first girls’ basketball title in the school’s history was the play of junior guard Casey Rarrick.
She is a hard-nosed player and gets the most out of everything she has. After the game, she proved to be articulate and smart, beyond her years, and it’s not out of the question that she and the Sabercats have a strong chance to earn a second straight Division II trophy.
*I also look forward to seeing Tucson Salpointe Catholic’s Cameron Denson again next season, and not just in basketball. He also is a wide receiver for the Lancers who exhibits a toughness better suited to a running back.
*It seems like Phoenix Pinnacle guard Sydney Wiese has been playing forever, but now she is on to Oregon State. Sun Devils and Wildcats beware, this lady can shoot.
Wiese and her Pinnacle teammates fell to Phoenix St. Mary’s in the Division I title game, but there’s no long-lasting sorrow in that. The Pioneers played very well this season, and the play of Britta Nordstrom and Kenna McDavis showed that Pinnacle was more than a one-player team.
*Ryan Finley helped lead Phoenix Paradise Valley to the boys’ Division II title, but he also will be honored on Saturday night (March 2) at an event put on by the Valley of the Sun Chapter of the National Football Foundation as its Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Congrats, Ryan. He will be on to Boise State to play quarterback this fall.
*Great coaching job by Brendan McEvoy in getting the Scorpions from Goodyear Desert Edge to the Division II boys’ semifinals in his first season.
*I hope Glendale Mountain Ridge coach Eli Lopez doesn’t leave the program any time soon in search of perceived greener pastures. He made enormous strides this season and the talent pool from which he has to draw appears to be getting better and better.
*The early boys’ favorite in Division I for 2013-14? Look at Scottsdale Desert Mountain, which returns most of its roster intact. And it certainly helps that Todd Fazio is one of the state’s best young coaches.
*Ashlee Moore had a great season for Chandler Hamilton, and now it’s on to track and field, where she is one of the state’s top all-around athletes.
*Ozahria Fisher had a strong season for Phoenix Thunderbird, especially for a freshman. Let’s hope she can smooth out some of the rough edges and be even better next year.
*I have to agree with AIA365.com colleague Les Willsey in regard to Friday’s (March 1) decision by the AIA Executive Council to vote down the 25-mile transfer rule. This type of free agency will continue to haunt us for the foreseeable future.
*Division I softball favorite Mesa Red Mountain has been hot and cold to begin the season, signaling a wide-open battle come state-tournament time. Keep an eye on Glendale Mountain Ridge, hovering in the background and a 5-2 winner over Division II favorite Peoria Sunrise Mountain on Thursday (Feb. 28). Mountain Ridge features one of the state’s top catchers in junior Corrin Green. But expect Sunrise Mountain, with left-hander Taylor Nowlin in the circle, to rebound.
*Chandler Valley Christian could sneak up on some teams in Division IV softball. The Trojans got off to a strong start in the Phoenix Country Day Tournament on Friday with an opening win over Scottsdale Salt River. Pitcher Jenelle Hunt should be a factor if she can keep her pitches from rising too much.