As each round progresses, it seems like the stakes get higher and the competition gets tougher. Every team left has been playing at a high level. It is exciting to see which teams fight their way into the championship game.
Here is a look at the Final Four Breakdown for 4A . . .
4A Final Four Preview
#4 Mesquite at #1 Seton Catholic
This is a 4A Desert Sky Region rivalry. Mesquite and Seton Catholic are two of the top teams in 4A from the past decade. Both schools have produced multiple college prospects, as well as a winning tradition. In order for the Lady Wildcats from Mesquite to have a chance at beating the Lady Sentinels of Seton Catholic, they will need a huge performance from Alaya Fitzgerald, Hattie Ogden, and Priscila Varela. The Lady Wildcat’s "Big 3" combined for 48.1 points, 17.8 rebounds, 10.8 assists and 13.3 steals per/game this season. Seniors Fitzgerald and Varela will not go down without a fight, since this is their last dance in their high school basketball careers.
Seton Catholic is loaded. They are considered a juggernaut, and are loaded with talented prospects. Coach Karen Self is a coaching legend, as she is a fantastic motivator and X’s and O’s guru. The Lady Sentinels dominated the Lady Wildcats with blowout wins of 58-31 and 54-38. They are led by talented prospects BYU commit Amanda Barcello, Lexi McNabb, and Sasha Daniel. The key for the Lady Sentinels is to control all aspects of the game from tip off. Continue to defend and attack the basket on offense. I predict the Lady Sentinels run away with this game, since they have other key contributors in Amelie Cartagena and Bella DiGiovanni.
#3 Sahuaro @ #2 Salpointe Catholic
This is a big-time matchup between 4A Kino Region rivals Sahuaro and Salpointe Catholic. The regular season was split with Sahuaro winning the February 23rd match-up, 65-55. The March 4th match-up was dominated by Salpointe Catholic, 61-31.
Salpointe Coach Joe Luevano created and executed a fantastic game plan in the second match-up, which held Sahuaro’s Alyssa Brown to 12 points and Lilly Watson to 5 points. In the first match-up, Brown went off for 39 points and Watson for 16, which propelled the Lady Cougars to victory the first time around. Sahauro’s key to beat the Lady Lancers is to get huge performances from Brown and Watson.
Don’t count out the Lady Lancers, as they have some depth to their rotation. Jaya Nelson is a fantastic scorer, as she is averaging 14.8 points per/game. Other contributors on offense include Kylee Callahan, Tessa Hastings, Bria Medina, and Madeline Namanny. Salpointe Catholic is well disciplined, and, if they can spread out the scoring and slow down Brown and Watson, they could run away with this game, as they did in the second meeting. Salpointe’s keys to the game will be getting Brown and Watson out of offensive rhythm, creating havoc on defense and executing great shot selection on offense.
The home teams play a huge advantage in both match-ups. Seton Catholic and Salpointe Catholic play very well at home. Seton Catholic has only lost to #1 6A Team Hamilton at home on March 2nd, but have not lost to a 4A team this season. Salpointe Catholic has a 12-game home winning streak that is carried over from last season.
With most schools allowing spectators, both games should have great fan cheering sections. I anticipate both home teams should be heavily favored to march their way into the 4A State Championship Game on Saturday.