The Desert Ridge girls volleyball team wanted nothing better than to keep the momentum of the last couple seasons going Tuesday night as the 2010 regular season winds to a close.
For the Jaguars that means trying to qualify for the state tournament for the third year in a row.
Although the elite bracket was won by an out-of-state school, powerful La Jolla (Calif.) Country Day, girls volleyball players from seven Arizona schools (eight in all) were selected to the 21-member, all-tournament team at last weekend\'s Nike Tournament of Champions girls volleyball tournament held in Chandler, Gilbert and Tempe.
Last season in their 4A-I Desert Sky battle, Apache Junction chewed up Queen Creek at the line of scrimmage rushing for 480 yards and giving up only 56 yards on the ground in a 52-14 win over the Bulldogs. That grinding out of real estate came after Queen Creek grabbed a quick 14-0 lead in the first period against the Prospectors.
The outcome Friday night was reversed in slightly different fashion.
Someone was going to win two in a row Thursday night at the 5A team badminton championship. The question: Would it be Xavier or Chaparral?
The Firebirds answered in the affirmative and are state champs after beating the Gators, 5-2, in the title match at Horizon High School.
Earlier in October Cibola football coach Lucky Arvizo claimed a 20-14 win over then-ranked and then-unbeaten Basha by his Raiders was the biggest triumph in school history.
This wa not a coach getting excited over the moment. A Yuma school winning several games in a season or a couple more than it loses is news.
Williams Field and Higley meet with the 4A East Sky Region lead on the line. Florence looks to clinch 3A South crown with Empire trying to block its way. Willcox visits Thatcher for supremacy in the 2A East.
It was a no-doubles-needed night Wednesday in the semifinals of the 5A team badminton tournament at Horizon High School.
Defending champion and top-seed Xavier bested No. 4 seed Corona del Sol, 5-0, to advance to Thursday night\\\\\\\'s final. No. 2 seed and unbeaten Chaparral vanquished No. 6 seed Chandler, 5-1, to gain the other berth.
Northwest Christian was methodical offensively pretty much all game Friday night against Yuma Catholic in a battle between the top two teams in the current 2A power-point rankings.
Through the first 47 minutes of the game, methodical earned Northwest Christian seven points. So with time running out the Crusaders turned to desperation mode. It worked to perfection.
Quarterback Orbi Gonzales hit wide out James Mossbrucker in stride for an 82-yard touchdown pass on a third-and 20 play with 45 seconds left to play to give the Crusaders a 14-10 triumph over the Shamrocks before a huge homecoming crowd at Northwest.
Region races are important because everyone wants bragging rights as region champ. But to teams that got off to a slow start or have almost exclusively region games the rest of the way they are the lifeline to extending the football season to at least Veteran\\\'s Day.
Gilbert High fits the above description. The Tigers, who dropped their first three games this season, have bounced back to win three of their last four. They had region foe Basha on the ropes in their loss during the past four-game stretch for a little better than a half before the wheels came off after intermission. The Tigers have been forced into playoff mode ever since.
Presenting your team with a measuring stick is a good idea, especially if you have an up-and-coming football program like Steve Campbell and Williams Field.
The Black Hawks measuring stick last year and Friday night is Notre Dame, a fledgling program itself not too long ago that has two state titles to its credit in less than a decade.
It is not easy for athletes to follow in the footsteps of a successful sibling. For Cory Breinholt, he has experienced a double helping of that pie.
Breinholt, a senior completing his fourth varsity season running cross country at Highland High, watched brothers Craig and Derek achieve at a high level in the sport. Craig, who ran from 2002-2004, was the individual state champ in 5A his senior year (2004). Derek peaked at No. 3 in the state his senior season (2007) and collected three top-10 finishes overall at state.
Battles between 5A-I unbeatens Hamilton and Salpointe, 4A-II unbeatens Williams Field and Notre Dame and 3A South contenders Coolidge and Empire highlight the matchups this week in the east valley and southern Arizona.