Chaparral High School (5-1) has been very hot to start the 2018-2019 high school basketball season, winning their last (5) games of the season. After losing their first game of the season in the Sunnyslope Hoopsgiving pre-season tournament, Chaparral has been on fire. On Thursday evening they traveled to cross-town rival Arcadia High School to face one of the top programs in the state's 4A Division.
Behind the sharp-shooting of 6-foot-3 junior guard Alem Huseinovic, who finished with a game-high 24 points, and the all-around play of 6-foot-6 senior guard/forward Alec Bryan, Chaparral would knock off host Arcadia 60-50 on their home floor.
The game featured several top prospects in the state, which made for an exciting match-up on paper. Arcadia HS 6-foot-4 senior guard Carter Murphy (Air Force signee) is among the purest shooters of the basketball in the West. Murphy will keep Arcadia in the hunt all season, so the thought of him leading Arcadia against a very hot Chaparral team seemed very intriguing.
Arcadia HS 6-foot-4 sophomore guard Max Majerle is a nice up-and-coming talent. He would prove on the evening why many basketball enthusiasts in the state are attracted to him as a young college prospect.
Unfortunately for Arcadia, Carter Murphy would have a very inconsistent and off shooting night for his standards, and would struggle to get anything going. Murphy is one of the elite shooters in the country, which he proved this spring and summer on the club circuit, but he would fail to find the mark on Thursday evening, en route to a poor shooting night and 15 points in the loss.
Chaparral's Alem Huseinovic was aggressive the entire game and really took the bull by the horns for his team. His 24-point performance in the game was his best performance to date in the Arizona varsity ranks. Huseinovic made shoots in the lane, from mid-range and three-point distance, while also taking the ball strong to the basket. He played hard on the night and it showed in his overall performance.
Alec Bryan would finish with 15 points in the win and a versatile performance overall, as he saw time at several positions in the game, even point guard. Head Coach Dan Peterson utilizes Bryan in multiple positions on the floor this season, and without the services of 6-foot-4 senior guard Blaise Threatt Thursday evening (injury), Bryan would be relied on even more to handle guard duties. It is still unclear when Threatt will return, but the team will hope to have him back for next weekend's match-up in the Hoop Hall West event at their school.
The Chaparral program, now a member of the 6A Division, will have their work cut out this season against much better competition, but Coach Peterson currently has his team playing excellent basketball early in the season. This next stretch of games over the next two weeks could define the Firebirds' season.