Locals look for hoops grooves - The Explorer: Sports

Locals look for hoops grooves

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Posted: Wednesday, December 17, 2008 12:00 am | Updated: 8:02 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

Until recently, postseason football has been garnering most of the headlines.

It’s prep basketball’s turn now. Invitational tournaments have been played, and the Northwest’s hoops squads are moving into divisional and rivalry matchups.

As cooler weather sets in, it is our pleasure to move into warm gyms and give an update on what local squads have been up to so far, and what might happen the rest of the season.

Ironwood Ridge

Last year was the most successful in Ironwood Ridge history.

The Nighthawks finished 27-6, outdistancing division opponents for the  5A-II Southern crown, then were dominant in the playoffs, going on to win the state championship with a 61-51 victory over Tempe Marcos De Niza.

How does Ironwood Ridge follow its storybook season? To date, by making the 2008 season look like a carbon copy.

Ironwood Ridge is 8-1, the only loss coming to #3 Phoenix North on Dec. 4. In that game the Nighthawks trailed by 19 points in the fourth quarter before storming back with a rally that fell just short, losing 55-52.

Aside from the close loss, Ironwood Ridge has been dominant in 2008, outscoring opponents 587-423.

Much of the offensive firepower comes from a pair of seniors, 6-11, 215-pound center Brandon Duliakis and forward Chad Carter, as well as junior point guard Lawrence Hampton.

Duliakis is averaging 15.7 points per game, good enough for third in 5A Southern. He also ranks second in rebounds with 9.3 per game.

Carter has been on fire this season, increasing his offensive role from last season to average14.6 points per game.

Sophomore Tyler D’Amore, also the quarterback on the Nighthawks’ division champ football team, lends a hand from behind the stripe, shooting for three 3-point goals per game, tops in the division.

Hampton provides a well-rounded complement to the big men, leading the division in assists with 7.6 per game, and on the defensive side of the court with 4.3 steals per contest.

The defense has also benefited from the stifling play of senior guard Sean O’Keefe, who ranks just behind Hampton with 3.6 per game.

Canyon Del Oro

The 2007 Dorados had a banner season, winning the 4A Sonoran Divison championship, finishing #12 in the state with a 18-8 record, and advancing to the playoffs before losing to Scottsdale Saguaro in the quarterfinals.

This season has been less kind to date.

After winning their season opener against Cholla 73-41, the Dorados have been unable to find a rhythm, losing five straight before beating Sahuaro 57-52 on Dec.11.

The comforts of home court advantage have been lost on CDO this season as well, as the Dorados have gone 0-3 in their own gym, including a 73-57 loss to rival and defending 5A-II state champ Ironwood Ridge.

The good news for the Dorados – their next five opponents have a 16-13 record, with most of those wins coming from 5A-I #2 Chandler.

More positives: junior Josh Robbins has lent the team a quick presence in the backcourt, and Josh Lewis has routinely scored more than 20 points.


The Tigers had a rough season a year ago, going 5-23 and finishing second to last in the 4A Sonoran Division, narrowly missing out on last place to one-win Cholla.

The Tigers are 1-7 thus far.

Marana can focus on one bright spot: the play of 6-4 senior forward Seth Wilson. Wilson leads the 4A Sonoran in scoring, averaging a whopping 22 points per game, and is second in rebounds with 7.1 per game.

Despite Wilson’s efforts, the Tigers have a tough road ahead. Division opponents Catalina Foothills and Pueblo are both ranked in the top 12 statewide, and CDO is dangerous despite a slow start.

Mountain View

The Mountain Lions might wish they had a time machine.

After a 16-15 2007 season, Mountain View is winless so far in 2008.

“Our 0-10 record right now isn’t where I imagined us to be right now before Christmas,” said head coach Mike Parillo.

Also frustrating for the Mountain Lions: a large number of close losses, including a three-game stretch during which Mountain View lost by a combined nine points.

“We have had so many close games up to this point,” said Parillo.

Tight games aside, Parillo says his team is not disheartened. “The team is still keeping a positive attitude and continuing to work hard.”

Aaron Anderson knows something about working hard. The senior forward is leading the 5A-II Southern in scoring with 18.3 points per game, and is tough on the boards as well, pulling down 12.6 rebounds.

Anderson’s dominance might be one of the reasons Parillo maintains a positive outlook on the rest of the season.

“(The team) will get over the hump if they continue to work hard and believe,” said Parillo. “We have great kids that care about each other and want to improve.”

Pusch Ridge

The 2008 Pusch Ridge team is pretty offensive.

The 5-5 Lions boast three of the top five scorers in the 2A South. Junior guard Trevor Cook is tops in the division with 13.9 points per game, senior forward Kyle Kirkwood hits 10.8 a game and junior guard Greg Schimke is averaging 9.2.

Under the glass, Lions’ rebounders have been dominant, ranking 1-5 in the division, with senior forward Jake Hlebain pulling down 6.6 balls per game to lead. Kirkwood, in second place, has 5.7 per game, with Schimke, Cook and junior forward Mike Vos contributing.

Despite outdistancing the rest of the league statistically, the Lions have struggled to stay above .500, losing to rivals Northwest Christian and Valley Christian in the first two weeks of the season.

Pusch Ridge is undefeated in conference play, however, currently second behind 9-2 Ray.

A Dec. 19 showdown between the Lions and the Bearcats will give insight into the likely contender for the 2A South championship.

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HS Schedule

Tuesday, September 16

Boys Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Buena, Cienega at Marana

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge, Catalina at Amphi (Silverbell GC)

Catalina Foothills, Pueblo, Sahuarita at Sahuaro

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Mountain View at Rio Rico

Ironwood Ridge at Glendale Ironwood

Swimming (@4 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge, Sahuarita at Desert Christian

Wednesday, September 17

Girls Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Rincon at CDO

Ironwood Ridge, Desert View at Flowing Wells (Silverbell)

Cross Country (@4:30)

Salpointe at Catalina Foothills

Palo Verde, Nogales at Marana

Rincon, St. Gregory at CDO

Sahuarita, Pueblo, Pusch Ridge at Desert View

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Empire at Marana (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

CDO at Queen Creek

Cienega at Mountain View

Sahuaro at Catalina Foothills

Walden Grove at Pusch Ridge

Thursday, September 18

Girls Golf

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Boys Golf

Sahuaro and Salpointe at Ironwood Ridge

CDO, Rincon, Sunnyside at Tucson High

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Marana at Sahuarita

Ironwood Ridge at Sahuaro (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

Catalina Foothills at Rincon

Pusch Ridge at San Manuel

Swimming (4 p.m.)

Marana vs. Tucson at Quincy Douglas Pool

Cienega at Marana

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Amphi

Catalina Foothills at Sahuaro

Freshman Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Flowing Wells at Marana (4 p.m.)

Desert View at Mountain View

Cienega at CDO

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

JV Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Amphi at Marana

Santa Cruz Valley at Pusch Ridge

Mountain View at Desert View

CDO at Cienega

Buena at Ironwood Ridge

Sahuarita at Catalina Foothills

Friday, September 19

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge at Mt. Carmel Invitational (San Diego, CA)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

Football (@7 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at Santa Cruz Valley

Catalina at Marana

Desert Vista at Mountain View

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Cienega at CDO

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

Saturday, September 20

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Marana at Old Pueblo Invite(Lincoln Park)

Mountain View at San Diego

Catalina Foothills, CDO at Ojo Rojo (Chandler, AZ)


Marana at Wolves Classic (Chandler High)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions


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