I have reiterated how much I've been enjoying this pandemic season, despite the hurdles that many people have had to endure. Scheduling has been a treat for me, since the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) gave more freedom with scheduling games.
One of the match-ups that I’ve always wanted to see was a battle of two of Southern Arizona’s blue blood programs in Sabino and Salpointe Catholic. Rarely does a 3A school play up against a 4A school.
Salpointe Catholic is led by legendary high school coach Jim Reynolds, and Sabino is led by up-and-coming coach Obie Tann. Both teams have some talented players, but Salpointe has been making a statement all season that they are ready to defend their 4A state crown.
The game appeared to be within reach, as after the 1st quarter the Lancers of Salpointe Catholic led the Sabercats of Sabino by 4 points. The Sabercats employed a zone defense to try to clog up the driving lanes to push Salpointe to take more perimeter shots.
Once Salpointe settled down, they moved the ball well to create great looks at the basket on offense.
Sabino just couldn’t keep up with the deep roster that Salpointe employed. The Lancers would go on to rout the Sabercats 71 to 42.
Despite the loss, Sabino has some prospects to look out for. I think Sabino will make a lot of noise in 3A, since they have some nice talented prospects to aid in Coach Tann’s deep playoff run plans.
Here are the prospects that stood out to me:
Brock Jackson - Sabino 2021 6’4 Wing - A pure scorer with range, great basketball IQ and a reliable defender. I like his ability to score. He will be a match-up nightmare for smaller guards in 3A.
Mason Lee - Sabino 2022 6'2 PG - He displayed a solid ability to penetrate defenses with good ball handling, a nice basketball IQ and range on his shot, if left open. He will be a major part of Coach Tann’s Year-2 Campaign.
Beau Chaney - Sabino 2021 6'8 Forward - He is raw, but could be a solid prospect. He isn't done growing and has a nice frame and athleticism. I think he would be a solid pickup for a small college or a post-grad program. He has the frame to be a big-time post prospect.
Myles Hersha - Salpointe Catholic - 2021 6'9 - A solid presence on the inside. He cleans the glass and moves very well for his size. Has a nice mid-range scoring ability and can finish strong. A steal for a smaller college program, as he brings a lot of upside.
Tommy Irish - Salpointe Catholic - 2021 6'2 G/F - Every time I watch him play, the more and more I become a bigger fan of his game. He's hard-nosed and a tough player. Has a great energy, plays big and can bully undersized guards. Has strong finishing ability and has a strap. College coaches take note - he brings a lot of leadership to the table.
Brady Ramon - Salpointe Catholic - 2021 6'0 Guard - A pure scorer and probably the most consistent catch-and-shoot scorer I've seen in a long time. He has great range and basketball IQ. College coaches take note he is a highly underrated prospect.
Julian Riesgo - Salpointe Catholic - 2022 5'8 PG - A very underrated prospect. He breaks down defenses and facilitates. I like his great vision, IQ, range and nasty floater. He really shined in this game, as Sabino looked to slow down the Big 3 (Hersha, Ramon & Irish). He played fearless with a great motor on both ends of the floor.