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All-Tribune First Team
Here is the 2013-2014 Mesa All-City Boys Basketball team as voted on by the Mesa schools' coaches:
Perry coach Joe Babinski looked at his team's sluggish offensive start and a six-point halftime lead and didn't bat an eye.
Player of the Year: Casey Benson (Corona del Sol)
Here is the 2013 Chandler All-District football team, as voted by the school district's football coaches:
The chill of winter means basketball is already underway with a plethora of early-season games and tournaments, and yet the question remains:
Hamilton's Jalen Jenkins tackles Pinnacle running back Josh Hoekstra as Hamilton defensive players Santana Sterling and Hunter Jensen move in while taking on Pinnacle, Friday, November 15, 2013 at Hamilton. [Jerry Burch/ Special to Tribune]
Sometimes a shift is so gradual, its effect isn’t realized until an event forces retrospection.
Outlook: The team to beat.
The defending champions were in the limelight this summer when Coolidge accused Hamilton of recruiting standout running back/defensive back J.T. Gray (Gray briefly went to Basha before he transferred back to his native Mississippi). Now the Huskies are in the spotlight for more positive reasons, armed with eight returning starters on defense in what could be one of the best groups in Arizona during the past decade (at least). The core group is led by Qualen Cunningham, Caleb Peart, Levi and Santana Sterling, Jalen Jenkins and Juwan Jones.
The offense should be improved as well, with Sammy Sasso the starting QB and standout lineman Casey Tucker leading a solid offensive line for Elijah Williams and co. The schedule will be formidable (Eastlake, Calif., Brophy, Mountain Pointe, Chandler, Basha, Pinnacle and Highland), but so, too, is the gap between the Huskies and the rest.
‘Twas not the winter of everyone’s discontent. At least, not for all the basketball players, soccer studs and wrestlers who took their shots, saves and takedowns for glory’s sake and found some.
Rolando Rhymes called it "taking the air out of the ball," and Mesa can attest to what Rhymes meant.
With a little inspiration and a renewed focus after halftime, fourth-seed Mesa erased a lackluster first half against a dangerous city rival.
The last of the Division I boys basketball unbeatens fell last week when Laveen Cesar Chavez was beaten by Phoenix Carl Hayden.
Hamilton’s Jalen Jenkins knocks the ball free from Mountain Pointe running back Garette Craig on a screen pass during the Division I state championship game on Nov. 24.
Hamilton Jalen Jenkins (white) knocks the ball free from Mountain Pointe running back Garrette Craig on a screen pass during the second quarter of the Division I state championship football game at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale on Nov. 24, 2012.
Luke Parrish, #20 of Hamilton, catches the ball after Jalen Brown, #2 of Mountain Pointe, and Jalen Jenkins, #8 of Hamilton, miss the catch at the MP end zone during the Division I State Championship football game between Mountain Pointe and Hamilton at University of Phoenix Stadium on Saturday, November 24, 2012.
No. 1 Mountain Pointe vs. No. 3 Hamilton
There wasn’t much question about the best boys basketball team in Division I last year, as Corona del Sol finished the season on a 30-game winning streak and cruised past Laveen Cesar Chavez for the state championship.
Let’s do this again.
The scene probably should have been chaotic, but if the Mountain Pointe football team has proven anything in this coronary of a season, it is the Pride have an ability to keep still in flinching moments.
Wide smiles accompanied the sea of blue jerseys on the Chandler football field last Friday.
The team portion of the boys basketball summer season has come to an end, as the players now split up and travel the nation with their club ball teams for the July evaluation period.