Sierra Linda has had some very good basketball teams at their high schol in recent years, but this year looks to be their best team of all, as new head coach Joshua Haagensen and his team have compiled an impressive 11-1 start to the season. After this weekend's tournament championship victory at the Horizon Holiday Hoops Invitational, the team has their sights set on competing for a Division-II state championship.
On Saturday night, behind the superb play of 5-foot-8 junior guard Jorge Acuna, the team knocked off Horizon High School on their home floor in their own tournament. Acuna was fantastic on the evening, knocking down numerous big three-pointers in the contest when it counted. Acuna would finish with a game-high 27 points in the championship win and proved, in the process, that he is among the best 2016 guards in the state.
Acuna is a very skilled guard prospect with a knack for shooting the basketball with superior range on his shot and a consistent shooting stroke. Every shot looks as if it is going in. He is also a very good ball handler that plays low to the floor and can penetrate and finish amongst bigger defenders in traffic with floaters and off balance jumpers and runners. He is also a good floor general for this team, and really emerged on Saturday evening in the narrow 74-71 win over Horizon on their home floor and amidst a crowd of fans.
Sierra Linda also is getting strong play from talented 6-foot-2 sophomore guard Ahmire Gaines this season. Gaines, the son of former Arizona high school stud performer Clifford Gaines, is one of the top sophomore prospects in the state. He is having a terrific season for this team and head coach Joshua Haagensen - providing excellent depth in the backcourt and strong defensive principles.
The team is also receiving good scoring support from 5-foot-8 junior guard Dontae Aguirre and 6-foot-4 senior forward Dominique Bradley, while getting good work on the glass and some shot-blocking from 6-foot-6 senior Kacy Thorn.
Sierra Linda is a focused and determined group this high school season, and has the potential to make a nice state title run in the post-season. Watch out for this talented group that has their level of confidence riding very high right now.