Arizona schools rallied some the final two days of the annual Nike Tournament of Champions I girls basketball showcase in Chandler and Tempe with St. Marys and Mesa Mountain View posting the best showings among the 18 local teams teams competing.
Hard to lose when the other team does not score. The Central High boys soccer team came within two minuites of keeping the opposition scoreless in a pair of games Tuesday.
With plenty of offense to go with that defense, Central won the 12th annual Jackrabbit Invitational, downing host Mesa High, 3-1, in the title game at Jackrabbit Stadium.
Hamilton girls basketball coach Jeff Kain was not lulled to sleep when seeing his Monday, opponent -- Kennedale, Texas -- with just seven players in uniform.
Kain had watched them over the weekend and knew his unbeaten Huskies were in for a battle.
Kain was right as Kennedale use a late third-quarter surge to pave the way to a 62-48 win over the Huskies in the Nike Tournament of Champions at Chandler High.
The defense that normally drives Xavier was not fully in force until the third quarter Monday of the Gators quarterfinal winner\'s bracket game with Edison High (Huntington Beach, Calif) at the Nike Tournament of Champions I at Perry High School.
Add in the fact that Edison features Stanford-bound guard Bonnie Samuelson and a solid supporting cast offensively and the sum was a 60-42 win for the Chargers over the Gators in the John Anderson Division of the tournament.
Mesa Mountain View knew it had a size advantage as it warmed up to play Harvard Westlake (North Hollywood, Calif.) on Sautrday afternoon. The Toros took their time often enough to seize that edge and it proved decisive in a 45-31 victory over the visiting Wolverines in the first round of the Nike Tournament of Champions I girls basketball tournament at Court One in Tempe.
Regis Jesuit coach Carl Mattei was pleased as his team prevailed shorthanded.
Chandler coach Zon Thompson felt sort of the same as his Wolves never gave up.
But better shooting and perhaps a little more poiseSaturday afternoon was the difference as Regis Jesuit (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) handed Chandler its first loss of the season with a wire-to-wire 45-38 victory in the first round of the Nike Tournament of Champions , John Anderson Division at Willis Junior High.
What happens when two of the best teams in 4A-II get together in a pre-Christmas showdown?
For the first 26 minutes, a blowout. But Thursday night a 4A-II girls basketball game between Seton Catholic and Flagstaff still had another six minutes to play. And fortunately for Seton, the game didn\'t last another minute.
Defending 4A-II champ Seton saw a 20-point lead with 6:10 remaining get sliced to three in the final 50 seconds, but the host Sentinels managed to hang on for a 60-57 win over the Eagles.
It is not easy staying unbeaten in basketball. Playing close to 30 games or more in a season makes that extremely difficult.
But for now, Chaparral boys basketball coach Aaron Windler will take a 6-0 mark. His Firebirds notched that sixth win Tuesday night with a big fourth quarter to upend host Red Mountain, 71-64, in a 5A non-region game.
Last year Mesa High believed its defense gave it a punchers chance of knocking off Hamilton for the 5A-I football title.
The Jackrabbits were worthy for a half and then fell by the wayside.
On Monday afternoon -- a year later -- Desert Ridge felt its offense gave it a shot to upend the Huskies. Good try. Very good try. Just not quite enough.
The overall winning streak rests at 39. Hamilton\'s goal Monday is first, a third consecutive 5A-I state title. That would mean win No. 40 in a row would come as a byproduct.
The team that stands in the Huskies\' way, Desert Ridge, has a modest streak of its own going with eight consective wins. The Jaguars pit their dynamic offense against the Huskies\' rock solid defense in the 2010 5A-I championship game. Kickoff is at 4:10 p.m. at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Hamilton fell just short of taking the 5A-I boys soccer title last year, dropping a 1-0 decision to Corona del Sol in the final. The Huskies were eliminated in the 5A-I semifinals on the girls side.
If the start of the 2010-2011 season is any indication, both programs are aiming at another shot at a state title come February.
North seems to know how to beat Red Mountain this season.Get behind big early. Lull the Mountain Lions asleep and pick the right time to pounce.
It worked for the second time in three weeks Friday night as the Mustangs overcame a 12-point deficit early in the third period to post a 66-61 win over host Red Mountain in a 5A-I boys basketball game.