Chaparral was led by 6-foot-3 sophomore guard Kenzo Nudo, who had a team-high 14 points. Also chipping in for Chaparral was senior bigs, 6-foot-8 senior Joe Boyd (Drake University signee) and 6-foot-6 senior Eric Conklin. The 2 elite bigs were both in double-figures, but didn't do enough to make a huge impact on the game. Also senior guard Troy Conley shot the ball well today and sophomore PG Brandon Hoffer controlled his team, as well as he could against the elite speed of Chavez - but unfortunately to no avail.
The Horizon/Cactus Shadows game was a matchup of two teams each with a win and a loss. Cactus Shadows came out in a man press and was disrupting Horizon - causing turnovers and keeping them out of their offense. Cactus Shadows quickly turned these turnovers into points, jumping out to an early first-half lead.
Down 23 at the break, the Huskies faced a tough second half challenge. Horizon became aggressive and began penetrating on Cactus Shadows' defense. Horizon High School's 6-foot-2 senior guard Sean Deacon hit a shot from the corner, which seemed like it may spark a run, but Cactus Shadows held tough and didn't allow Horizon to come back.
6-foot-1 senior guard CJ Davis led the way for Cactus Shadows, giving Horizon no chance to make a comeback - the final score being 72-63. The pesky, scrappy guards for Cactus Shadows ravaged the Horizon backcourt - keeping them completely out of their offense, converting defense directly into offense.
The next matchup had the Arcadia Titans taking on the Coconino Panthers. Both teams came out aggressive - attacking the basket and scoring inside. Arcadia went on a small run, sparked by 6-foot-1 junior guard Calvin Outlaw, and jumped out to a slight lead. However, Coconino started hitting some outside shots to keep with Arcadia. Their ball movement and execution helped get everybody involved.
Arcadia held a three-point lead at the break, and added on to start the second half. However, Coconino was able to keep with it, led by the play of 6-foot-5 senior forward Andy Bonner running the floor, and 6-foot-5 senior post Josh Ingram banging inside. It wasn't enough, as Arcadia held on led by Calvin Outlaw's game-high 20 points, as well as 6-foot-6 junior Cameryn Standifer's 10 points.
As well as Coconino did to keep in the game, they just didn't have enough firepower to get over the hump. Arcadia exploited the weaknesses Arcadia showed and came up with the 63-48 win.
A couple of solid teams, the Perry Pumas and the Desert Ridge Jaguars, were the setup for an entertaining game. Perry came out hot, led by 5-foot-10 junior guard Jordan Howard, who dropped 11 points in the first quarter.
Desert Ridge 6-foot junior guard Hunter Thomas tried to carry his team and keep them in it, but it was tough to keep up with Perry's high-octane offense. Desert Ridge, led by Christian Rojas’ shooting, was able to hit some outside shots, but Perry's high-octane offense was too much.
The first half ended with a one-sided score. A 21-point halftime lead was the doing of Jordan Howard, who had 17 first half points. A 45-24 halftime deficit for Desert Ridge showed a tall task for any chance of a comeback.
Thomas came out aggressive and scored a couple early buckets. Despite Thomas's efforts, the Pumas were too much to handle. Thomas finished with 13 points and distributed the ball well. Worthy of double digit assists; he finished with only 5 due to missed opportunities. Desert Ridge gave away a lot of easy points, missing point-blank shots and making errant mistakes. Hunter Thomas was setting his teammates up, but they were unable to capitalize. Perry was able to turn these mistakes into easy points.
Perry won 73 to 49. Jordan Howard finished with a game-high 22 points.
The following matchup had two teams lacking any elite players, going head-to-head. The well-coached Deer Valley Skyhawks took on the well balanced Apollo Hawks.
A sloppy first quarter was the scene, as a buzzer-beater banked in from the top of the key by 6-foot junior guard Deron Kyle - giving Deer Valley a 16-5 lead after the 1. The Skyhawks brought pressure into the full court and dropped back in a zone, giving Apollo open outside shots.
6-foot-1 senior Braxton Nickerson tried to keep Apollo in it with his penetration, but the well-coached Skyhawks held Apollo to 11 points midway through the 2nd quarter. All of a sudden, Apollo flipped the switch and went on a late 10-0 run - cutting the lead to 9 going into intermission.
A stagnant start to the second half kept the Deer Valley lead comfortably around 10 points. 6-foot-4 sophomore Reese Plummer provided a wall in the post, stopping the Apollo penetrators at the bucket.
Nickerson was aggressive and helped to keep the deficit within reach, as Apollo's press caused turnovers and gave them opportunities.
Deron Kyle with another bucket at the end of the 3rd quarter stopped Apollo's modest run. However, Apollo continued fighting and kept themselves within reach by getting to the line and hitting free throws. Kyle's quickness was able to break the Apollo press, as he distributed to his teammates to build an 11-point lead.
Deer Valley was able to hold on, led by Reese Plummer's 13 points and 8 boards, Deer Valley finished off Apollo 53-39.
The marquee matchup of the day had the Desert Mountain Wolves taking on the tournament's host team, the Paradise Valley Trojans. This highly-anticipated contest opened up with a Rolando Rhymes' finish in traffic. Desert Mountain came out shooting, and hitting a couple quick threes. Off the bench, 6-foot-5 junior Jordan Higgins provided 3 quick boards and a bucket inside for Desert Mountain.
Paradise Valley 6-foot-5 senior Ryan Finley had to make an early exit after getting hit in the face, but he would return. Early domination by the Wolves had Paradise Valley playing catch up from the start. The Trojans came out getting to the line, but missed 4 free throws in the first quarter. The first quarter capped off with a Paul Watson three pointer at the buzzer, to cut the lead to 12 after 1.
The second quarter brought more bad fortune for the Trojans. Desert Mountain held them scoreless for the first 7 minutes of the quarter, jumping to a 21-point lead.
At halftime, a surprising 32-13 score showed the first half domination by the Wolves. The second half started with an 11-2 run by Desert Mountain to stretch the lead to 28. Desert Mountain 6-foot-5 senior forward Diego Magana hit his fourth three-pointer, as Desert Mountain continued to add on. By the end of the third quarter, the score had gotten completely out of hand - Desert Mountain 54, PV 19.
After 3 quarters, Paul Watson was held to only 7 points, and had committed 5 turnovers by the start of the fourth quarter. Ryan Finley started to force the issue, scoring 6 straight points. However, even the Desert Mountain bench was too much for Watson and Finley.
Key bench contributors for Desert Mountain were Zach Bullock, Remy Smith, and Jordan Higgins. Being held scoreless in the fourth quarter, Watson finished with 7 points. Ryan Finley put up 16 in the losing effort.
5-foot-11 junior point guard Rolando Rhymes was in control of the game, ending with 7 points, 6 assists, and 5 steals. He was feeding Diego Magana, who hit four threes and had a total of 16 points. The final of 63-28 shows how much DM dominated from the very first whistle.
In the final game of the evening, Cezar Chavez defeated Chaparral 77 to 72 - due to Chavez’s guards penetrating the lane and just being faster down the court on most possessions.
Chavez might be the fastest team in the state, led by the elite athleticism of 6-foot-5 junior forward Pablo Rivas. They also might be the best on-the-ball defenders in the state. Rivas had 13 points with many rebounds, steals and blocks, as he just causes havoc for opposing teams. 5-foot-10 senior guard Will Holt also shot the ball well and guarded his man extremely well and scored 14 points.
Chavez head coach Gary Lee runs a perfect system for the type of players he has, which shows how good of a coach he is.