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Jose Garcia

Multimedia Journalist/Historian

Try and slow down Westview if you can

Nov 30, 2012

There isn’t time to waste for the up-tempo girls basketball team of Avondale Westview, even when it comes to wiping a wet spot on its basketball floor.

On Thursday, instead of waiting for somebody to get a towel, some of Westview’s players used one of their teammates, Renee Contreras, as a mop during a timeout in its game against Phoenix South Mountain. A couple of players grabbed Contreras’ arms and legs and began to sway her back and forth on the floor.

Problem solved. Time to start running.

Westview is always in a hurry. It’s a plan that’s worked so far, as the team is off to quick start, blowing out its eight opponents this season.

With a somewhat short team, Westview can’t afford to walk the ball up the floor and play zone against taller teams. It’s strictly man-to-man and run, run, run.

The team used its quickness and marksmanship from the outside on Thursday to quickly grab a 24-2 lead against a South Mountain team that was in the playoffs last year but returned only one starter and a new coach this year.

Tolleson is viewed as the No. 1 girls basketball program in the Southwest Valley, but Westview also consistently wins, having won at least 24 games in four the past six seasons. Helping keep Westview as a contender this year is second-year head coach Lisa Contreras and her husband, Anthony, an assistant, who have worked with Westview’s basketball programs for the past six seasons. 

Besides their love for the game and non-stop attack, the Contreras also help bring a family atmosphere to Westview. Their daughter, Renee, is a starter on the team, and their son, Anthony Jr., is the team’s videographer.

“It’s a family affair for us,” Lisa said. “We live here (Westview’s basketball court) all of the time.”

The Contreras helped Westview post a 26-6 record last year, but what Westview really wants to prove is that it can compete against the Southeast Valley’s powers.

The problem is that Westview won’t face some of those teams until probably the playoffs, or unless it is taken off the waiting list and allowed to play in the Nike Tournament of Champions tournament. But Westview isn’t overlooking West Valley contenders like Tolleson, Goodyear Millennium and Surprise Valley Vista, Lisa said.

Westview’s frenetic pace is often paced by Renee, a junior, sophomore Saylair Grandon, and junior Airianna Sesma. Grandon is emerging as the team’s go-to player after averaging only four points per game last year.

But like most of the players on the team, Grandon also is unselfish. When she does have the ball, Grandon is capable of driving to the basket or shooting a smooth midrange jumper.

Her brother, Jourdan, plays football for the University of Arizona.

“We are using what we have,” Lisa said. “We have some quickness and are running the floor. We are really playing well defensively, and our offense and defense are beginning to compliment each other.” 

(Avondale Westview coach Lisa Contreras talks to her team during a timeout. Photo by Jose Garcia/aia365.com)

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