A lot of boys and girls basketball and soccer teams are off to good starts.
Below are a smorgasbord of notes on some of those team.
Buena: Beat Cienega Thursday 63-55. Cienega was coming off a big victory over Catalina Foothills on Tuesday. … Talented team starts just one senior and is led by Gilbert Pinckney and juniors Rod Springer and Mojave Nick. … Pinckney missed two games due to a neck injury and missed the first week of practice because of football, but he is back. Pinckney averaged 10 points and eight rebounds last year after spending his first two high school seasons in Germany. His mom is in the U.S. Army. … Springer and Nick are each averaging about 12 points. Nick scored a career high 21 points vs. Tucson and did a “nice” job of covering South Mountain’s Zylan Cheatham two weeks ago. Nick scored 12 points vs. Cienega and went 6-for-6 from the line in the 4th quarter. … “This is a very good year for southern Arizona and Tucson basketball,” coach said. “It as deep as I have seen it in my 21 years as a head coach.”
Gilbert Christian: Was off to a 3-2 non-tournament record, losing its two games to D-I schools Highland and Gilbert. … Team recently beat Oaks Christian of California in the final of Christian Cup. … Team returned four starters, Sam Jones (23 ppg), Keaton Ranger, Roberto Reyes (13 ppg), Seth Deltenre, from last year’s state championship team. … Ranger (11 ppg, 4 rpg last year) is injured and hasn’t played this season. … Jones is headed to Penn University and Reyes to Regis University. …
Mesa: Team got off to a 6-1 start while allowing only 32 points per game. … Mesa is travelling to Chicago on Christmas day to play in the National State Farm Holiday Classic. … Seven of the team’s players are each averaging between 6-14 points per game. … “Our senior class has been outstanding,” coach Shane Burcar said. “Leading the way is team captain Christian Harris, a four-year player, and Isaac Allen, also a 4-year player. And then we have Felipe Velazco, who is averaging about eight points and eight rebounds per game. And then we have Armando Saucedo with his defensive intensity.”
Perry: Team is 7-1. Lost on Tuesday to Chaparral after a last second shot. … Team won the Paradise Valley Tournament during the Thanksgiving break. … Freshman Markus Howard is the team’s leading scorer (20 ppg), followed by brother, Markus, (16 ppg). … Last season’s second leading scorer and rebounder, Jake Mortensen, recently returned from a broken foot injury.
Salpointe: Team is outrebounding teams 29-17. … Cameron Denson, Ryan Callaghan, Hunter Lowry, and Thomas McEvoy are averaging double digits points per game. … Callaghan (6-7) recorded 17 points, nine rebounds and eight blocks against Marcos de Niza.
Scottsdale Christian: Team was 4-1 and was pleased with the way it handled the defensive pressure of Arizona Lutheran and set up high percentage shots. … Jared Fram (13.6 ppg), Corbin Lenderink (11.4 ppg), and Connor Segneri (11.2) lead the team in scoring. … Segneri also is averaging 4.4 blocks per game. … Sixth man Mason Krell has 18 assists and just two turnovers. … Jordan Moy has stabilized a shaky point guard position, adding quickness and penetration, said coach Bob Fredericks.
St. Johns: Team is 4-4 but three of its losses came to teams in a higher division. … Only power ranking loss came to Snowflake. … Kyle James is averaging 14 points and three steals per game. … Senior Jake Zieler (12 rebounds, eight points per game last season) is set to return from a football injury.
Sunnyslope: Had four players score in double figures, led by Michel Humphrey’s 20 points and 15 rebounds, in four point victory over Chaparral. … Sammy Barnes-Thompkins is averaging 22 ppg and Ari Stern 12 ppg. … “The team is working hard but still needs to work out some kinks offensively and defensively,” coach Ray Portela said. “We are a long way from where we want to be.”
Bradshaw Mountain: Team is 9-0 and led by senior Kylie Morris (19.4 ppg, 10.6 rpg, 5.2 steals per game) and Kirsten Smith (9.4 ppg, 4.0 assists per game, 4.2 steals per game, 3 rebounds per game, 1.7 blocks per game). … Has outscored past three opponents 170-43. … Team has held an opponent scoreless in a quarter four times.
Desert Vista: Team is averaging 56.1 ppg, 23.9 rpg and 12.7 steals per game. Tatum Brimley, Emily Wolph, Sabrina Haines and Kristine Anigwe are each averaging between 6-18 points per game. … “Our team is focused on playing good defense and playing together,” coach Jontar Coleman said.
Dobson: Beat host Highland in the championship of the Highland Thanksgiving Tournament. … Limiting teams to 33 points per game, 30 percent shooting and forcing 27 turnovers a game. … “We have had decent performances on the offensive side, but we haven’t shot the ball well,” coach Tyler Dumas said. … Dyesha Stahley is contributing all over the court, averaging 6.8 ppg, four steals, and 4.6 assists. Her turnover, assist ratio is 2:1. … Miyah Leith leads the team with 12.4 ppg and is averaging 3.6 steals per game. … NAU-bound Tori Lloyd is averaging 2.5 assists, 3.3 steals and 10.1 ppg. … Team’s brutal schedule continues during the next seven days, with games vs. Westview, Hamilton, Boulder Creek, and Nike TOC games.
Gilbert Christian: 7-1 team lost four-year starting point guard Colleen Young to an ACL injury on Day 1. Despite the injury, the D-IV school started 6-2 despite playing two D-III, four D-II and one D-I school. … Junior Meg van Rijn (7 ppg, 6.8 rpg), sophomore Cassidy Curtner (11 ppg) and freshman Lauryn Satterwhite (17.5 ppg) are stepping up for the team after the loss of its injured captain.
Many Farms: After five games, Briana Clah was averaging 17.8 PPG, and Ramona Tsosie was at 10.6 PPG. … Team won the Coke Classic in Chinle.
Millennium: Beat Corona del Sol, Pinnacle and Horizon in Marcos de Niza’s tournament but lost to Desert Vista in the final. … Sophomore point guard Raina Perez continues to improve as all around player. “She really is the complete package as far as offense and defense,” coach Courtland Rojeck said. … The team’s defensive leader is junior Passionate Amukamara. “I believe she is one of the best on ball defenders in the state and does a great job of harassing the other teams’ best players,” coach said. … Junior Quynne Huggins transferred in from Youngker. “She is a great decision maker with the ball and a natural scorer,” coach said. … Sophomore Adriana Zelaya is another great decision maker and can really space the floor since she is a 6-1 forward who can shoot it, coach added. … An ankle injury limited the playing time of junior forward Wati Franklin but she is almost at full strength. … Team is forcing 25 turnovers, allowing Millennium’s transition offense to flourish.
Sahuaro: Team was 10-1 and won its own tournament, beating Canyon del Oro in the final. … Was a rebound away from beating a good Ironwood Ridge team, which hit a 3 at the end. … Post players Sydney Harden (13.7 ppg), a sophomore, and senior Itzel Valencia-Gallegos (11 ppg) are leading the team in points and rebounds. … Team’s point guard is a freshman, Elena Arriago. … Team’s assist leader is sophomore Reazsha Benjamin. … Best defender is senior Brianna Gonzalez.
Salt River: Team was 8-0 overall, 2-0 in freedom game. … Finished 6-0 in Round Valley Roundball tournament, beating D-III schools Round Valley, Alchesay, Snowflake, Holbrook, and Thatcher and also Silver HS of New Mexico. Ashley Lomavaya was named tournament MVP, and Enicia Flores was named to the all-tournament team. … Team is averaging 59 ppg, allowing 31 ppg. Six players average between 5-15 ppg. … Team is averaging 16.9 ppg, shooting 46 percent from 2-point FG and 35 percent from 3-point line.
Seton Catholic: Team is 10-1. … “We have been on a bit of a roller coaster so far this season with moments of quality play and followed by moments where our inexperience is glaringly obvious,” coach Karen Self said. … Seniors Julia Barcello (Colgate commit, 14.1 ppg, 11.5 rpg) and University of Alaska Fairbanks-bound Heather Heild (14.4 ppg, 7 rpg) are the team’s leading scorers. … Team starts two freshmen, Jennifer Wirth and Liz Holter, and two other freshmen come off the bench, LeeAnne Wirth and Courtney Knecht.
Page: Stats through six games (4-2 record): 54.3 points per game, 32 rebounds per game, 15.7 assists per game, 20.7 steals per game, 1.7 blocks per game. … Team is holding opponents to 37 points per game.
Window Rock: Started 3-1 and finished third at the Coke Classic. … Team is scoring 44.5 PPG but averaging 24 turnovers per game. … “We have a good core group of returning players that give us leadership on and off the floor,” coach Mac Beach said. “(Those players) are Naomie Klah, Shaniya Betsoi, Caliegh Curley, Nichole Benally, Keezia Owens, and Danielle Smiley.”
Winslow: Team was 3-3. … “As a team, we have played solid basketball and have been in every game during the tough early season schedule that includes playing a total of four ranked Arizona and New Mexico opponents,” coach Jerron Jordan said. … Team experienced some early season injuries. … Winslow is led by captain Halle Hayes (6 ppg, 13 rpg, 6 steals pg), Marcella Joe (11 ppg, 6 assists per game, 5 steals pg) and Shandiin Armao (22 ppg, 14 rpg, 5 steals pg). … “I am blessed to coach such a great group of student athletes at Winslow High School,” coach said.
Hamilton: Is 6-0 and reached the semifinal of the Tempe Diablo tournament. … Team has allowed only two goals. … Junior forward Kalvin Parr is in Florida for the ODP inter-regionals and will return Monday. … The team has a good balance between seniors, juniors, sophomores and freshmen, coach Nicholas Markette said.
Liberty: Team is off to program’s best start (4-0-1). … Goal differential is plus-12. … Eleven different players have scored the team’s 17 goals. … Newcomer Jake Geremia, a junior goalkeeper, has given the Lions confident support and leadership. … “Heart and soul” of the team is holding center midfielder David Hagerich, an all around player who can do it all in the middle, from strong physical play to quality distribution, coach Tyler Hussey said.
Tucson: Team is 9-1 and won the Brandon Bean Tournament. … Last season’s leading scorer, sophomore Julian Gaona, has scored 14 goals so far. … Senior Gabriel Zepp is a good distributer and maintains order in the midfield, coach Ismael Arce said. … Sophomore midfielder/defender Geo Ahumada has nine assists and one goal. … The leader on the defense is Christian Wolfe, a senior who keeps order on the backline, coach said. … Senior Carlos Vargas can strike at any moment thanks to his speed, ball control skills and long distance bombs.
Arcadia: All-State midfielder Annie Sherman won’t play until January because of a stress fracture suffered during her club season. … Team is playing eight opponents that reached the playoffs last season. … Arcadia replaced six graduating players and added eight new players. … Team scored two goals during a 40-minute scrimmage vs. Horizon and started two talented freshmen in the midfield, Molley Vesling and Kennedy Williams. … Megan Hawkins scored 29 goals last season. … Won Horizon Tournament of Champions last season and beat Desert Mountain 2-0, tied Millennium 0-0 and lost to Willow Canyon 0-1 on a deflection in this season’s Tournament of Champions. … Travelled to Mingus and played in “below freezing temperatures” but walked away with a gratifying 1-0 overtime victory. Hawkins scored the goal, and co-captain Kate Staudenmaier, the team’s “stalwart defender,” assisted on the play. … Travels to play this season’s TOC champ Notre Dame on Friday.
Boulder Creek: Team is led by senior goalkeeper Meghan Strang (U-18 national team member, Air Force-bound), junior midfielder Kyle Escobedo (Oklahoma-bound), Natalie Stephens (Arizona State), and junior center back Angela Boyle (Oklahoma). … Team is 6-1.
Catalina Foothills: Team is 8-1-2, with its only loss coming against Notre Dame in PKs in Tournament of Champions Tournament. Tied Cactus Shadows and Pinnacle in TOC. … Four-time defending champ won the Brandon Bean tournament. … Has outshot teams 143-17 and has scored 27 goals, allowed three. …Emily Parker, Aminah Settles and Aleah Strength have scored a combined 18 goals. … Coach Charlie Kendrick’s record at the school is 235-18-5. …
Desert Vista: Heralded club player Olivia Jones, a freshman midfielder, has scored five goals and recorded two assists in four games. … “Our starting seniors, Brooke Leftwich (3 goals), Brenna Leftwich (2 goals), Lauren Owens (1 goal), and Audrey Sumpter are playing well at the moment and are the spark to our offense,” coach Marvin Hypolite said.” … Team’s returning leading scorer, Tatum Heeres, has one goal and three assists. … Junior goalkeeper Alexa Ryder has 12 saves. … Team reached the semifinals of the Tempe Diablos Tournament.
Fountain Hills: Team is 3-1-1 and has allowed only four goals. … Defense is led by seniors Kahri Smith, a goalkeeper, sweeper Jessica Stricker and stopper Alex Bergner. Team has six players who have each scored, including freshman Erika Yost (2 goals). … “I have two skills that can’t be taught, aggression and speed,” coach Alison Maberry said. “Everything else will sort itself out with time and experience. The girls are very determined and won’t quit until the final whistle, as we have been known over the past two years to have scored in the final minutes of regulation to win,” coach Alison Mabery said.
Hamilton: Is 5-0-1 with three shutouts. Has scored 15 goals, allowed 4. … Ten of team’s 18 players are three-year varsity players but 17 are non-seniors. … Eight girls have verbally committed to either Division I or II schools. … Senior goalkeeper Caty Parker has allowed only three goals. … Freshman Jessica Wong has played in three games.
Notre Dame: Won Horizon Tournament of Champions tournament, defeating Chaparral 1-0, Flagstaff 2-0. Lost third pool match to Boulder Creek. Won PKs 5-4 vs. Catalina Foothills. In the TOC final, went to PKs vs. Boulder Creek and won 4-2. … “Goalkeeper Meredith Reinhardt has faced some of the most talented attacking teams in the state only to answer the call every time,” Notre Dame coach Tom White said. Reinhardt made two saves in the TOC semis and final. … Michelle Mahoney, Julia Taffuri, Morgan Morano, Kassidy Madrigal, Jeannie Mongan, Dana Gordon, Rachel Jones, Madison Shapiro, Catherine Groves, and Allison Heredia returned this season. “We have a pretty balanced attack producing multiple goal scorers while maintaining a very solid backline,” White said.
Sahuaro: Team has lost two starters to season ending injuries and had two other starters miss the first eight games because of injury. … Team is 6-2-1 and has scored 33 goals and allowed only three. … Senior Jasmine Simmons leads the team with 14 goals and three assists.
Seton Catholic: Team started with a 3-2-1 record and held its own against higher division teams. “I am very excited for this season,” coach Bianca Jauregui said. “We have many talented players this year and feel that we can be a great contender for state.” … Reggie VanDevender has scored 8 goals, and Kelsey Moore has five. Seven different players have scored goals.
Xavier: Team lost 1-0 to Pinnacle, 1-0 to Catalina Foothills in the Horizon tournament and beat Cactus Shadows 2-0 in the Horizon Tournament. … Freshman Quiqui Hita leads team with four goals. … Team is led by senior captain Kellie Peay and junior Amanda Lane. … Team has 10 juniors, four seniors, three sophomores and four freshmen. … Squad is heading to California to play in the Excalibur Tournament right after Christmas.