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2012 – 2013 Arizona High School Basketball Season
We look forward to another great season of high school basketball. Click the divisions in the left column to follow your team’s division and highlights. We are always searching for independent reporters for our website. Send us an email if you are interested in writing for our website.
All Arizona High School Boys Basketball Honors for the 2011/2012 Season
by Carlos Sarmiento
Division 1 All State Teams
Calean Robinson sr. Corona del sol (Player of the year)
Jaron Hopkins jr. Basha
Drew Bender jr. Pinnacle
Danny powell sr. Desert vista
Camyn Boone sr. Mountain view
JD Reagan sr. Cesar Chavez
Casey Benson so. Corona del Sol
Josh Braun jr. Boulder Creek
Dorian Pickens so. Pinnacle
Torren Jones jr. Basha
Division 2 All State Teams
Dewayne Russell sr. Peoria (player of the year)
Jalen Richard jr. Poston butte
Tim Derksen sr. amphitheather
Paul Watson jr. Paradise valley
Kenny Martin sr. Kellis
Edgar Sarmiento jr. Sierra Linda
Ryan Berg jr. Saguaro
Larry Lewis sr. Arcadia
Lawrence Pierce sr. Peoria
Stacie Davis sr. Fairfax
Predictions for 2012-2013
Arizona Boys High School Basketball
Arizona Boys High School Basketball
Guest article by Carlos Sarmiento
Pre-Season Rankings 2012/2013
Ranking the 3 top projected teams:
1. Basha – Returns all 5 starters including rivals top 150 Torren Jones and possibly the best and most highly recruited player in Jaron Hopkins. (Editor’s note: since this was written Jones and Hopkins transferred out of Basha)
2. Pinnacle – Returns SR. Drew Bender and Jr. Dorian Pickens. After a tough loss to Chavez in the final four Drew and company are going to be hungrier then ever. Don’t be surprised if Pickens commits to Arizona State University early.
3. Boulder Creek – Returns SR. Josh Braun. Braun in my eyes is possibly the best overall player in the 2013 class. He averages over 20 points in a three year career and don’t be shocked if he is the Division One player of the year.
1. Sierra Linda – Returns Damien Mendoza and Edgar Sarmiento. Sierra Linda has only had varsity for 2 years and has made a big splash, making the playoffs twice in both years while beating reigning champs Fairfax twice last season. They have proven that they can beat anyone in D2.
Mendoza and Sarmiento should have career seasons since they have been the backbone of Sierra Linda.
2. Paradise Valley – Returns rivals top 50 Paul Watson. Watson has offers from all over the country, including the University of Arizona. Expect Watson to commit and have a monster season.
3. Poston Butte – Returns SR. Guard jalen Richard and Kyle Davis. This team is built just like Sierra Linda with only 2 years of varsity but have made a big splash also. Look out for Jalen Richard to lead state in scoring.
Congratulations to Corona Del Dol for a great 2011-2012 season and for steamrolling through an entire regular season and tournament with one lone loss.
2010 – 2011
Arizona High School Basketball Tournament
at Jobing.com Arena
at Jobing.com Arena
Mountain View Wins 5A-I Championship
As they have done all season long, Mountain View displayed the Gary Ernst philosophy to perfection with their patient offense and stifling defense as they crushed another opponent enroute to another state title. Their 50 – 29 win highlighted one of the most impressive tournament runs in Arizona history as they defeated teams this season by an average of 25 points per victory. The Toros are losing some key components off this championship team – Sweeney, Mazzucco and Bingham. Camyn Boone and Mitch Wallace return as the lone major pieces to this team. But if Coach Ernst does one thing better than anyone else, it is to make great use of whatever talent he has.
For Brophy, this leaves the school still searching for their first basketball championship. All is not lost as the Broncos have a competitive team returning next season. Key players returning include Fred Gammage, James Harper and Jordan Medi. Don’t be surprised to see Brophy playing for a title again next season against someone like Corona del Sol.
How our 5A-I Prediction Fared
Ok, so we blew it in the championship game with our narrow Brophy victory prediction. That’s what predicting with your heart and not head will do for you. We did finish the 5A-I tournament with an 11 – 4 record. I did not root against Mountain View with my prediction but was hoping the Brophy Bronco’s could bring back to their school their very first basketball title. Never predict with your heart.
Alas, you need more than talent to beat a Gary Ernst coached team that is filled with talented players who play team basketball to near perfection. Brophy has talent and a great group of kids. Mountain View of 2010-2011 has something you just do not see often, extreme team cohesiveness. It would not surprise me to find out this tight group of Mountain View players have been playing together since elementary school.
Predictions for the 5A-I Title Game
Mountain View versus Brophy
I came away from their victory over Mesa extremely impressed with the Broncos. Senior Sai Tummala is a real talent. He is fluid and rarely thrown off his game. # 5 Junior Fred Gammage is a very capable point guard. The team is in good hands here. # 22 Junior James Harper is an all-around terrific player. One this is clear – Mountain View will not rattle Brophy in the title game. Brophy had a much tougher road to arrive here, beating an immensely talented Cesar Chavez (last season’s runner up), the 2010 champion North, and pre-season # 1 Mesa High School. Anyone not believe the Bronco’s are for real?
Mountain View is playing as if they expect to win the championship. And who can blame them? They are steamrolling over every opponent by 26 points on average. The Toros play a tough schedule during the regular season and in several pre-season tournaments exactly for this day. They want to be prepared. They have one of the best Arizona high school coaches in Gary Ernst. The Toros have Expectation and Tradition on their side.
Mountain View plays a patient game and works the ball around for the best shot. This is not the most talent Coach Ernst has ever had but this team works together more than any team in Arizona.
Who Wins the 5A – I Arizona High School Basketball Championship
I am going with underdog Brophy by a narrow margin, 56 – 53. It is very hard to pick against Coach Ernst and Mountain View. But I do like the three Brophy stars of Gammage, Tummala and Harper just as much as the 4 headed monster of Mazzucco, Sweeney, Boone and Bingham. It will be a tight, close and defensive game.
Defense and Turnovers will determine the 5A – I Arizona high school boys championship. Whoever wins those battles wins the game. This won’t be a game so much about offense as it is about controlling the boards and minimizing/creating turnovers.
5A – I Semi Final Games
How our 5A – I Semi-Final Round Predictions Fared
GAME ONE: We successfully predicted BOTH victories in the semi-finals. Mountain View over Buena seemed like a no-brainer. That gives us an 11 – 3 record in predicting games in the 5A-I bracket. Mtn View played more quality opponents, particularly in a few pre-season tournments. Buena breezed through a much easier regular season. Combine that with their usual stellar Toro coaching and anyone could have predicted a Toro win.
GAME TWO: Predicting Brophy over Mesa High took a little more gall, considering the Broncos were defeated twice by the Jackrabbits already this year. However, anyone who watched Mesa play this season had to be more than concerned that their one-man scoring approach likely would come back to haunt them. Brophy’s team-first approach was a much better match in this game. The Broncos rolled to a bigger win than ony could have predicted.
Brophy’s Team Approach
Secures Place in Title Game
Secures Place in Title Game
Brophy had lost to Mesa High twice during the regular season. Yet, that was no worry for the Broncos as they withstood 58 points from ASU bound Jahii Carson to stun the Jackrabbits by a score of 96 – 82.
Jahii Carson shot 24 – 35 from the field, 1 -3 from three point land, and 7 – 9 from the free throw line. Desmond Medder scored 15 points but most of those came in the final four minutes of the game after Carson had fouled out. The next high scorer for Mesa was Trent Molesworth with 3 points and three other player with two points each. Simply put, there was too much Carson and too little everyone else. Not that anyone else on Mesa really received much of an opportunity to shoot or score in this game.
Compare that stat line to the balanced scoring by Brophy:
James Harper 20 points (6 – 9 field goals, 9 – 12 free throws)
Fred Gammage 19 points (12 – 16 free throws)
Sai Tummala 17 points (8 – 9 field goals)
Jordan Medi 13 points
As Jahii Carson will learn at the next level, the best team is usually the team that works together. Mesa High had enough working parts on this team to win a title. But it is a coaching decision to allow one player to have that much control over a game and how much involvement your teammates have or do not have in the game.
If the Mesa High coaching staff has one potentially legitimate complaint in this game, it is the wide disparity in free throws.
Mesa High: 14 – 23 from the foul line
Brophy: 35 – 53 from the foul line
The referees stood out in this game and sometimes did not let the play just flow. One ref in particular, the one who tossed Coach Burcar, needs to learn to let the high intensity of coaches and players roll off his shoulders a little better. It did appear he tossed the Mesa High coach easily and quickly, leading some to speculate that his dislike for Mesa or its coaches is real, as some suggested elsewhere.
Mountain View Steamrolls Buena Colts
When Mountain View jumped out to an 18 – 2 first quarter lead, it was apparent they would be moving on to the title game. That was at least apparent to anyone not from Buena. You cannot let a good Toro team coached by Gary Ernst jump out to a commanding lead and expect to win.
It appeared the Colts came out a bit star struck by the large facility as they were flat footed and cold from the floor. It was also surprising that Coach Dave Glasgow held them in the locker room just until it was time to begin the 3rd quarter. What his players likely needed was less locker room and more time on the floor working out their shot and and tightness of playing in a big game.
For the Toros, this game was a tale of two halves. Kyle Bingham and Jaren Sweeney were the catalysts as both players hit big shots in the first. The second half was owned by Camyn Boone. Held to 3 points in the first half, Boone exploded for 12 in the second half.
Buena struggled from the field all evening. They shot 13 – 34 from the field and 4 – 11 from beyond the arc. They had moments when the Colts created turnovers and made mini runs, but Coach Ernst quickly called timeouts to squash any comeback.
It was too bad Buena did not make more of a game because they brought a huge contingent of parents and students, including a cheer squad and band. They were loud, vocal and fun to watch. Buena has a ton of underclassmen, and could emerge in 2012 as a serious contender once again. On behalf of their excited fans, let’s hope so.
Here is a breakdown of our 5A-I First Round Predictions:
We finished 6 – 2 in round one. Our mistakes in round one were going with too many visiting teams. Desert Vista was the only road team to win in round one, as they defeated Tucson Salpointe. Not a big upset as that game featured 9th and 8th ranked squads.
We correctly picked Mountain View over Mesquite, Buena over Kofa, Corona del Sol over Desert Ridge, North over Red Mountain, and Mesa High over Tucson.
We incorrectly picked Cesar Chavez over Brophy and Hamilton over Mountain Pointe. There is a chance Brophy can play for the title, so that first round prediction for them to lose now looks like real bone headed pick.
In other round one games, # 1 Buena barely edged #16 ranked Kofa at home, narrowly winning 57 – 52. That is exactly why everyone has given the Buena Colts little respect heading into this tournament. In reality, they are about a 6th or 7th seed, proving the power rankings need tweeking. If they defeat Desert Vista there is no way they get around the Toros.
In the other bracket, we are leaning toward Brophy making it to the championship game. Brophy plays North on the road and it’s a toss up in reality. But assuming they beat the North Mustangs we are predicting they will get past Mesa High, which should defeat Mountain Pointe at home.
We apologize to all Mesa High coaches, players and fans but no matter whether North or Brophy is their opponent we have to lean toward both those clubs over the Jackrabbits. The reasoning is simple – those other teams are far more balanced. Mesa leans too heavily on it’s one star player.
Here is a breakdown of our 5A-I second round predictions:
We finished 3 – 1. Games we picked correctly were Mountain View defeating Corona del Sol, Brophy over North, and Mesa High over MountainPointe. We missed on the Buena/Desert Vista game but this was a one point victory on Buena’s home court, so it was a very close game.
After round one it has become incredibly clear that if Mountain View can get by Corona del Sol, it has a much easier road to the championship game than anyone has imagined, at least compared to the other bracket which is loaded with great matchups.
Our Fearless Round Two Predictions
Desert Vista – winner
With their win over Tucson Salpointe on the road, Desert Vista has to be excited to travel to Sierra Vista to take on the Colts, an away game or not. Having played a much tougher schedule, we like Desert Vista in this game.
Corona del Sol
Mountain View – winner
Wow, tough game to call. The teams split their series, ironically each team winning on the road. Mtn View won the initial meeting back on December 13, 49 – 40. Corona came into the Toro gym on January 25 and left victorious 50 – 43. This has all the makings of a classic game. We are giving the home team a very slight advantage.
If this were any other team we might side with the Aztecs. But it’s hard to beat a good Mountain View team at home in the playoffs.
Brophy – winner
This is the mistake we made in round one – going for the road team too often. However, Brophy is no average team. Then again, neither is North. We are siding against the home team in half the games. Uh oh.
Mesa – winner
Jahii Carson has one more big game up his sleeve. They play at home in front of their raucus crowd. It will be another win for the Jackrabbits and send them to Jobing.com arena against the Brophy-North winner. Whether Mesa High wins a title or not, it is fitting for Arizona to get to see Jahii Carson play at Jobing.com. He has earned that trip. Charles Croxen will not be available for this game due to his two technicals in the Tucson game. It is an unfortunate situation for the Jackrabbits who should win this game. Only time will tell whether Croxens unavailability deters his team from winning this game
2nd Round 5A-I Tournament
We finished 3 -1 in round two, missing on the Desert Vista and Buena game. It did surprise us that Buena won the game, even though they were at home. They barely edged # 16 Kofa at home in round one while Desert Vista won their initial game on the road.
However, we correctly picked the other three tournament games.
Mountain View over Corona del Sol – we picked Mtn View but not by the surprisingly easy 67 – 42 victory.
Brophy over North was a lucky pick. But we liked Brophy’s overall balance, which is critical in tournament play.
We went with Mesa High in this game but almost picked Mountain Pointe, because the Jackrabbits are a Jahii Carson team and four other good players. However, Mesa had really good contributions from several players at critical moments during a tense game. Trent Molesworth may deserve the MVP of this game as he hit some very crucial shots for Mesa. Yeah, Carson scored his usual 37 but if not for his teammates hitting clutch shots their season would be over.
Semi-Final Predictions at Jobing.com Arena
# 4 Mountain View vs # 1 Buena
I am going with Mountain View as the clear victor in this game. They are playing lights out and no one prepares his team for tournament play better than long time Toros coach Gary Ernst. Buena barely edged #16 Kofa at home and beat Desert Vista at by a single point in the second round, also on their home floor. Mountain View is battle tested. We do give kudos to Buena for making it to the semi’s considering they received little love from most observers. Final score Mountain View 68, Buena 57.
# 6 Brophy vs # 2 Mesa
Beating the higher ranked North at home (which we correctly picked) was huge for the Broncos. But Mesa is playing great too and showed tremendous character in beating Mountain Pointe after the energized Lions grabbed the lead over the Jackrabbits in the fourth quarter. I am leaning toward Brophy in a very close game. Mesa seems to play all their games close and, while that benefited them against Mountain Pointe, it will cost them in the semi-finals. The edge will go to Brophy doing enough to keep Jahii Carson around 30 points while shutting down the rest of the Jackrabbit team. Final score Brophy 72, Mesa 67.
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