Shadow Mountain High School (11-1) is off to a big start to the 2012-2013 high school basketball season, and is looking a lot like the Shadow Mountain HS of old - that is the Shadow Mountain HS of the 1990's when NBA star guard Mike Bibby graced the Arizona basketball hardwoods.
Much of the reason for this similarity is that the Matadors are loaded with young talent for the future, and have a nice balance of youth and experience on this year's team - led by the play of sharp-shooting 6-foot-2 senior guard Keegan Hansen.
Shadow Mountain head coach Cain Jagodzinski has his best team of prospects since he took over the helm at the school in 2006 - when he replaced former legendary head coach Jerry Conner. Conner was widely recognized for his fast-breaking, up-tempo style of play, and now a new crop of young Matadors looks to be back to the basics for the program - a young group of prospects that will soon raise the level of tradition at the school.
With Mike Bibby in the stands for the game and not on the basketball court, a younger Michael Bibby, a 5-foot-10 freshman point guard and the son of the NBA star, took the floor alongside talented 6-foot-3 freshman forward Carlos Johnson.
With two freshman starters on the floor for Shadow Mountain and four other freshmen on the team that all see significant playing time, the Matadors jumped out to a comfortable lead on host Camelback (0-5) quickly in the game. After a three-pointer by Keegan Hansen and a follow-up basket by Carlos Johnson, Shadow Mountain went up 5-0 early in the game.
Camelback HS has really struggled this high school season. While the team is absolutely loaded with size and athleticism, this team takes many il-advised shot attempts early in the offense and struggles to gain any kind of purpose on the floor. They should be a much better defensive unit, and have the offensive talent to be much more consistent on the offensive end.
Shadow Mountain would exploit Camelback early in the game, and after two more consecutive baskets by Hansen, Shadow Mountain would jump out to a 14-4 lead after the first period.
In the second period, Camelback would fight back. After a three-pointer from 6-foot-2 senior guard Marquese Whitehead and a basket inside by 6-foot-6 senior post Antonio Zepeda, Camelback would make the score 18-13 - still in Shadow's favor.
A three-pointer by Michael Bibby would push the Shadow Mountain lead back to 9 points (21-13) and halt the Camelback run late in the second period, as Shadow Mountain would take a 26-17 lead into halftime.
In the third period Shadow Mountain would blow things wide open - taking a big 43-22 lead after three consecutive layups in transition and after a defensive breakdown by Camelback. Another three-pointer from Keegan Hansen and Shadow Mountain would climb to a 46-25 advantage after the third period.
From there, Shadow Mountain would hold on to win the game, 57-44 on the road. Shadow Mountain will now move on to face Paradise Valley HS on Thursday (12/6), while Camelback will look to attempt to get their first win of the season against Chaparral HS next week (12/11).