Once again, Peoria High School has done it - reaching the 4A State Final, after a big 4A State Semi-final win over Bradshaw Mountain High School on Monday evening in front of a packed house at home. Peoria would quickly build a huge lead in the first half and not look back, as Peoria would route a much bigger Bradshaw Mountain team in a 67-53 victory. For the second time in his illustrious high school career, gifted 6-foot-2 high-scoring senior guard Andrew Camacho (pictured left) will have an opportunity to win it all, before the end to one of the best high school basketball careers of all time.
Camacho has been a plug-and-play top performer since entering the high school ranks as a freshman, and after helping lead his team to a 4A State Title berth as a freshman, he now will return in his final season to have another chance to win it all for the Peoria fan base. Again, Peoria will enter the final game of the season with the same record as they had during the 2019-2020 season, when Peoria came up just short in an overtime thriller - falling to eventual state champion Salpointe Catholic (54-48 in overtime). This season, Camacho and his talented teammates will look to change the outcome, as they will now face a tough Deer Valley team in the final, after Deer Valley defeated Mesquite on Monday evening on a last second shot.
"It brings back memories back to freshman year," said Camacho. "This time we have to finish the job - can't leave anything on the floor. It's gonna take hard work."
#2 seed Peoria High School (26-4) lost a game in the Open Division playoffs previously, and had the opportunity to return to the 4A Division playoffs, where they have blown through their competition. Camacho and his teammates would build a nice 15-2 lead over #3 seed Bradshaw Mountain early in the first period. Peoria would take an 18-5 first quarter lead after a late three-pointer from 6-foot-4 senior guard Calvin Windley (pictured right). Windley would go off in the game - providing the support for Camacho, as he has all season, and lifting Peoria to a very comfortable lead all evening.
In the second period, a barrage of three-pointers and layups from Windley and Camacho would lead Peoria to a nice 34-18 lead at the half.
With Bradshaw Mountain looking to continuously get back in the contest, Peoria would answer each Bradshaw Mountain score with a score of their own. The third quarter would loom too big for Bradshaw Mountain, as Camacho would knock down (4) three-pointers and Windley would make (2) of his own in the period to put the game out of reach. Peoria would lead 59-37 after three quarters and never look back in the contest.
Peoria looks very tough to beat for this year's 4A State Championship, and this will be a fitting end to a terrific high school career for Camacho, who has brought a high level of basketball tradition to the Peoria High School basketball program in his four seasons of varsity basketball.
Peoria will need to beat a tough Deer Valley (21-7) team for a third time this season, after defeating Deer Valley in their two previous meetings this high school season. It is always tough to beat a team (3) times, especially with the adjustments that will certainly be made by experienced Deer Valley HS Head Coach Jed Dunn and his coaching staff. It will be an enjoyable championship game to watch on Thursday evening at Veterans Memorial Coliseum @ 8PM.