The D1 Nation's Ed Baur weighs in with his final report of the season on Arizona Prep Basketball action. How smart is Ed? He packs it up when things begin to sizzle in the Valley of the Sun and spends his summers in his native Wisconsin. We owe him a debt of gratitude for his evaluation of Phoenix and Tucson area players especially during the past three years.
(Chandler) Basha 75 (Tempe) Corona del Sol 65
The Basha Bears capped a 30-win season with (2017) 6’5” Gabe McGlothan (ARMY SIGNEE) and (2017) 6’4” Terrell Brown (N. ARIZONA SIGNEE – football) once again leading the way in front of 6,000 fans at Grand Canyon Arena. McGlothan finished with a ‘stats-stuffing’ performance -- 21 points, 11 rebounds, 3 blocks, 4 assists and 3 steals. while Brown scored 23 points, including 3 consecutive 3-pointers in a 2-minute period late in the second quarter. That turned a 2-point deficit into a 9-point lead.
The game marked the end of the high school career of one of Arizona’s all-time best with (2017) 6/2” Alex Barcello (ARIZONA SIGNEE) finishing with a strong performance – 25 points on 9 of 19 shooting. Barcello’s running mate (2017) 6’3” Saben Lee (VANDERBILT SIGNEE), who had an awesome 39-point game in the semi-finals, managed 19 points but shot only 5 of 20 as McGlothan and company shutdown his ability to score inside or get to the foul-line.
Basha, whose only loss came three weeks earlier on the road at (Gilbert) Perry, features a senior line-up so the rebuilding will start behind (2018) 6’4” Brennen Davis, a D1 talent-level defensive guard. The Aztecs will continue to re-load but this time without two of the state’s top two players.
(Phoenix) Sunnyslope 58 (Phoenix) Apollo 57 (2OT)
It may have taken three games over a 41-day period, but the Vikings finally got the best of the rival Hawks in another over-time battle in front of 6,000 fans at Grand Canyon Arena. During the season, Apollo had defeated Sunnyslope in triple-overtime (85-77) and by a four point margin the second time around (57-53).
After building a 28-21 lead in the first half behind 58% shooting (while Apollo uncharacteristically struggled with 34%), Sunnyslope (27-4) held on despite foul trouble by star player (2018) 6’5” Chris Orozco. Orozco still had a big night with 25 points including his first six shots to open the game. Running-mate (2018) 6’4” Kyle Fischer was again also solid with 17 points and 8 rebounds.
Apollo (26-4) was the top ranked team for the entire season which included a 92-79 whipping of Corona del Sol (6A) in late December. Unfortunately for Apollo stars (2017) Dre Marin (SOUTHERN UTAH SIGNEE) and (2017) Holland (Boo) Woods (PORTLAND STATE SIGNEE), they did not leave with the Golden Ball but they did leave their marks on the history of Apollo H.S. basketball. Holland almost single-handedly carried Apollo to victory with 33 points on 11 of 26 shooting. On the flip side, unfortunately for Apollo, Marin never got on track.
Looking ahead to the 2017-18 season, Sunnyslope has to be the favorite for a repeat title (if they remain in 5A). Our reason for this predication? There are no seniors on the squad!
(Phoenix) Shadow Mountain 81 (Tucson) Salpointe Catholic 48
There was hardly any difference in the championship game compared with the three games leading up to the Matador’s final as the 33 point victory followed wins of 40, 68 and 40 points. Shadow’s ultra-quick, pressing line-up forced 22 turnovers which has been a constant all season. They finished with a perfect 29-0 record and have now won 33 consecutive games and 51 consecutive games against in-state teams.
Once again, (2017) 6’1” Marcus Shaver (UC- SANTA BARBARA) paced the attack with 29 points on 6 of 10 from behind the 3-point line. The first-year Shadow player, who played his first two years at Phoenix St. Mary’s, also added 7 rebounds and 3 assists. Fellow guards (2019) 5’11” Jovan Blacksher and (2019) 6’ Jaelen House added 12 and 11, respectively. (House, and a Salpointe player, was ejected at the end of the 3rd quarter after an altercation.) (2017) 6’3” Darion Spottsville, playing in his 15th state tournament career game, controlled the defensive paint grabbing 10 rebounds and blocking 5 shots.
Salpointe’s star forward (2019) 6’5” Majok Deng (ARIZONA OFFER) never got on track in the Gila River Arena after being shutout in the first half (also had 5 turnovers) and finished with just 5 points. (2017) 6’1” Cameron Miller (YOUNGSTOWN STATE OFFER) had 17 first-half points and finished with 21. Miller is the son of University of Arizona coach Sean Miller. The Lancers finished the season with a 23-10 record.
Fountain Hills 55 Winslow 48
(2017) 6’4” Joe Wagoner led a second half comeback at Gila River Arena leading all scorers with 23 points while (2017) Bryce Andrashie and (2017) 6’2” Max Giger dominated the boards with 15 each. Andrashie also had 13 points as the Falcons finished the season with a 23-6 record. The Bulldogs finished with a 24-10 record.
Gilbert Christian 66 (Whiteriver) Alchesay 51
A capacity crowd of 5,400 fans in the Prescott Valley Events Center were treated to some excellent interior play by Gilbert Christian’s (2017) 6’7” Nate Graville and (2019) 6’4” Kyle Patterson who racked up 21 and 19 points, respectively. Alchesay’s (2018) Tristen Upton booked 21 points. Christian finished with a 25-5 record while Alchesay closed with 33-3.
(Phoenix) NFL Yet 75 (Tucson) The Gregory School 50
Underclassmen (2019) 6’4” Shekeedren Bryant and (2020) 5’9” Tyraill Carrethers paced the upset over the number one ranked team with 21 and 19 points, respectively. The Eagles finished with a 29-2 record. The Gregory School‘s (2019) 5’9” Addison Mort and (2017) 6’ Nick Rosquist paced the Hawk’s with 20 and 14 points, respectively. They also finished at 29-2. The Prescott Valley Events Center hosted the event.