It’s been an action-packed week of high school sports, ranging from last weekend’s AIA State Wrestling Tournament to the girls soccer and boys and girls basketball tournaments.
It was a full weekend for athletes competing in the State Wrestling Championships, held last Friday and Saturday night in Prescott Valley.
Three members of the Ironwood Ridge Nighthawks—Tyler Rokop, Payton Billings and Jose Beltran, brought home medals in the Division II championships.
Of the three, Rokop finished fifth in the 120-pound division, while Billings and Beltran each finished third overall in their weight class (145 and 160 pounds, respectively). The Nighthawks finished seventh overall as a team, out of 43 teams.
Canyon Del Oro also had a medalist in the Division III championship. Kane McKissick finished third overall in the 145-pound weight class. The Dorados finished 17th overall out of 44 teams, with 35.5 points overall.
The Nighthawks’ quest to bring home a state championship came up short last Thursday, falling to eventual state champion Chaparral 3-2 in the state semifinals.
The Nighthawks, playing in their third-consecutive state semifinal, had shutout Willow Canyon and Apollo by matching 4-0 scores in their first two playoff matches—before Thursday’s tilt with the Firebirds.
It was a banner night for freshman Julia Mohan, as well as senior Emma McCormick—with two pair scoring a goal apiece on Thursday.
Leading-scorer Isabella Santavicca added an assist in the contest, while McCormick had an assist of her own in the match.
The Nighthawks finished the season with a 15-5-4 record under Coach Sean Watkins, outscoring their opponents by a combined score of 60-13.
It was a rough end to the season for Marana and Mountain View high schools in last Friday’s Division 5A boys basketball play-in games, with each team falling to their respective opponent.
The Tigers, who qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2003 under Coach Kevin Corner, received the 23rd seed in last Friday’s play-in round against Apollo—falling 69-47 to the Hawks.
The Mountain Lions, meanwhile, earned the 18th seed in the play-in tournament, travelling to Phoenix to face Carl Hayden High School. Mountain View lost in overtime, 68-66.
Senior guard Drew Cotton led the way for the Lions on Friday, scoring 30 points, with six rebounds and six assists in the contest.
The Tigers finished the year with a 17-13 record, while the Lions ended with a record of 14-12 under Coach Corey Duck.
The Catalina Foothills Falcons earned the third seed in the Division 4A state tournament, facing off against Peoria High School after print time on Tuesday, in the tournament’s opening round.
The Falcons, coached by Doug D’Amore, went 23-5 this season, with a 7-1 record against sectional foes.
It was a great week for a trio of local girls basketball teams—Canyon Del Oro, Marana and Ironwood Ridge.
The trio swept their play-in games, earning a spot in this week’s opening round of the AIA State Basketball Tournament.
The Dorados advanced by defeating 19th-seeded Casa Grande, 45-35, to improve to 18-9 this season. The win earned CDO the 12th seed in the Division 4A state tournament, playing Phoenix’s Thunderbird High School after print time on Tuesday.
Marana, meanwhile, rolled over Willow Canyon, 48-35, in the Division 5A play-in game—playing Phoenix’s Sierra Linda after print time on Tuesday in the tournament’s opening round.
The Nighthawks won their play-in game in the 5A tournament over 21st seed Notre Dame Prep, 39-30, giving the team the 12th seed in the state playoffs. The Nighthawks played fifth seed Arcadia after print time on Tuesday.
In Division 3A, the Lions of Pusch Ridge Christian Academy earned the seventh-seed in the 24-team tournament—hosting the winner of Tuesday’s Sabino-Kingman game in the tournament’s second round. The Lions enter the state tournament with a 20-6 record, going 9-3 against sectional foes.
In Division 1A, Immaculate Heart earned the 8th seed in the division’s 16-team tournament. The Knights will face off against Rock Point at 9 a.m. on Thursday, at Yavapai Community College in Prescott.