A matchup between Deer Valley and Perry was a fight between two teams on opposite sides of the spectrum. Perry, led by their high-octane offense and elite scorers took on a very well-coached Deer Valley team who takes pride in getting everybody involved.
Deer Valley came out in a zone press and took Perry out of their offense. Early on, Perry struggled with turnovers and getting open shots. Meanwhile, Deer Valley's offense moved the ball and got open shots. Deer Valley’s zone press kept Perry from getting out in the fast break.
A 20-9 score after 1 was the product of a Deer Valley team effort. 6-foot-4 sophomore Rees Plummer and Tyler Watts scored 6 each, while Deron Kyle scored 8 in the first quarter for Deer Valley.
Out of nowhere, Perry struck like lightning and made it a game - cutting the lead to only 4, led by 5-foot-10 junior guard Jordan Howard's 10 first half points. Howard put his team in good position to rally back.
Deer Valley was able to fight off the run, as Rees Plummer's inside presence gave them a 32-25 halftime lead. Deer Valley opened up the second half with a 6-0 run to take their largest lead of 13. They continued to play their pressure zone, where they collapsed onto every Puma who drove to the basket. However, Perry was able to get out and run in the fourth quarter, getting layups and hitting their outside shots.
A three pointer with two and a half minutes left by Jordan Howard forced a Deer Valley timeout. However, the Skyhawks executed well down the stretch and hit their free throws to hold off a late run by Jordan Howard, who hit 3 threes in the fourth quarter and finished with 22 points.
A Deer Valley balanced attack led by Rees Plummer's double-double of 13 points, 10 boards, and 3 blocks was the story. Two other players, other than Plummer, had 10 points; Deron Kyle and Tyler Watts.
Perry's inability to capitalize on opportunities killed them, as they made many miscues and gave away free points by missing layups. The well-coached Deer Valley Skyhawks turned Perry's mistakes into their demise, with their deep bench and abundance of role players. The final score was 75 to 59.
The next game had Arcadia taking on Cactus Shadows for the Consolation Cahmpionship. A fast paced game opened up with Cactus Shadows jumping out to the early lead. By being aggressive and attacking the basket, they got to the line and got easy layups early. Led by their pressure defense, Cactus Shadows had Arcadia struggling to get into their offense. However, Calvin Outlaw, with his outside shooting, helped Arcadia find themselves only down 4 after one.
Austin Paciora gave the Falcons 9 of their 18 first quarter points to help produce the lead. Cactus Shadows forced turnovers and bad shots throughout the second quarter, helping them to add on to their lead. A big contribution off the bench was Mike Rabbani, who delivered 14 in the first half. Arcadia's Calvin Outlaw was the only real threat, as he had 13 after two quarters.
Cactus Shadows came out in the second half on a quick 7-0 run to force a timeout within the first minute. The 7-0 run snowballed into a 10-2 run which put the lead to 21.
Arcadia coach Stephen Danford was called for a technical foul after a debatable foul call, in which CJ Davis hit both free throws and then scored on the following possession. The technical was just a summary of how the game was going for Arcadia. Frustration was apparent from the whole team.
The third quarter ended with a score of 71-42, as two players left with injuries. CJ Davis and Cameryn Standifer both were hit in the face and were bleeding.
The game came to a close with Cactus Shadows dominating the whole game. 82-46 was the final, with Arcadia struggling to get anything going.
CJ Davis led Cactus Shadows with 19, and Mike Rabanni chipped in 17. The only bright point for Arcadia was Calvin Outlaw who led the team with 13, despite barely playing in the second half. The Cactus Shadow guards pestered Arcadia from the start - giving them no room to operate any sort of offense and converting turnover into easy points.
The third place game was sure to be a good one, as PV set to take on Chaparral. The large crowd filed in to watch this great matchup, and support the host team.
First blood came from a Kenzo Nudo three from the corner, followed by a Paul Watson pull-up jumper at the other end. Ryan Finley had to leave with a small ankle injury, but returned later in the quarter. The teams went back and forth; as the score after one was 13-12 Chaparral. 6-foot-3 sophomore guard Kenzo Nudo had two first quarter threes for Chap.
The second quarter brought similar results from the first - back and forth scoring and neither team able to break away. PV scored in the last 20 seconds to take their first lead, but 5-foot-10 sophomore Brandon Hoffer delivered a dime to Mike Hamm for the easy layup at the buzzer to send the game into halftime - tied up 24 points a piece.
The third quarter brought some excitement, as Chap took a 5-point lead. A couple threes by Kenzo Nudo and Troy Connelly gave them their biggest lead. However, they suffered a tough break when 6-foot-8 senior post Joe Boyd (Drake University signee) picked up his fourth foul. Chap was able to overcome the loss, and found themselves up 35-34 entering the fourth quarter. They brought a team effort, with Kenzo Nudo's nine, Troy Connelly's six, and Eric Conklin's five.
PV was led by Paul Watson's 16 and Connor Euting's 9 points to enter the final quarter. The Trojans came out with the energy, as back-to-back and-ones had them up 5 after one minute of action in the period. Paul Watson began being aggressive and Chap struggled offensively - hoisting up threes and missing them. An 8-point lead for the Trojans with just under three minutes left put PV in good position to close out the game.
Paradise Valley proceeded to do just that, and came away with the 56-45 victory. Led by Paul Watson's 26 and Connor Euting's 15, PV was too much for Chaparral. Nobody on Chaparral scored in double figures, as Joe Boyd led the team with nine, and Kenzo Nudo had 9 with three threes. Chap's inconsistency and lack of execution was their downfall against a very good Paradise Valley team.
The last game of the tournament had a matchup of a couple of undefeated teams. Desert Mountain was set to take on Cesar Chavez for the championship.
From the opening tip, it was scrappy and fast paced. Desert Mountain HS 5-foot-10 junior guard Rolando Rhymes was the man for DM - scoring 7 in the first quarter and controlling the offense.
For Chavez, the three ball was falling early, as Will Holt and Tyler Bell had five threes between them in the first half. Chavez was able to use their speed on offense and defense. Zakie Johnson came in off the bench and had back-to-back steals converted into fast break points. In an already fast paced game, his speed took it one level higher.
The teams went back and forth, until Chavez guard Will Holt hit a three at the buzzer to give them a 32-27 going into halftime.
The third quarter brought excitement, as both teams came out scoring well. Rolando Rhymes started to be aggressive, scoring 6 in the quarter for DM. However, Zakie Johnson took the game over - scoring 8 in the quarter and using his quickness to pick up 2 steals. He penetrated straight to the middle of Desert Mountain's defense.
The fourth quarter brought chippy play, as Jordan Higgins was called for an intentional foul, one minute into the quarter. The fourth quarter was back and forth, with nobody taking full control of the game. All of a sudden, Zakie Johnson checked in at the five and a half minute mark and the tides turned. A quick 5-point push in a 20 second span gave Chavez a nine point lead.
As soon as DM seemed to be out of it, Brant Carter hit a three to make it 57-53 with 45 seconds left. An intentional foul called the next possession gave Chavez two free throws and the ball. Rolando Rhymes got his 22nd point on a layup to cut the lead to six, and then stole the inbound pass - hitting Will Goff in the corner for a three.
A quick inbound by Chavez to Zakie Johnson had the game won. However, Johnson took the ball to the hoop and missed the layup. Desert Mountain's Remy Smith collected the board, and got it to Diego Magana, who dribbled up into a wide-open three from the top of the key at the buzzer. The ball hung in the air with everybody in the stands certain the shot was money. It bounced off the front of the rim and out to cement a Chavez 61 to 58 championship victory.
Chavez was led by Will Holt's 16, and Zakie Johnson's 15 points and 3 steals off the bench. 6-foot-5 junior forward Pablo Rivas picked up 8 points, 6 rebounds and a couple of huge blocked shots. Rolando Rhymes’ game-high 22 points led Desert Mountain in the losing effort.
A very exciting, fast-paced game was the ideal ending to a great tournament. Cesar Chavez proved to be too much for anyone else to handle, as they walked away with the championship of this year’s 22nd Annual Paradise Valley Invitational from Paradise Valley High School. Pablo Rivas of Chavez was the Tournament MVP, as he was a key factor in their championship victory.