Scottsdale Chaparral offensive lineman Taylor Lewan has committed to play for Michigan next season.
The 6-foot-7, 270-pound senior recently received the Frank Kush Award as the best offensive lineman in Arizona, and has seen his stock rise considerably in the last six months.
Lewan was a defensive lineman last year at Cave Creek Cactus Shadows, but was converted to the offensive line this year at Chaparral.
"That's the best athlete I've ever seen at offensive lineman," Chaparral coach Charlie Ragle said. "I was at ASU for a year (as a graduate assistant) and coached some good offensive linemen, some that are in the NFL. He's a better athlete than those guys. Not a better lineman yet, but a better athlete. He's just raw. His upside is huge."
Lewan will join teammate Craig Roh, a defensive lineman, who verbally committed to the Wolverines during the season.
Roh was coveted by almost every Division I college in the country, and it helped Lewan get noticed when coaches would look at tape of Chaparral's games.
"I didn't have to say anything," Ragle said. "How do you miss a Goliath like that?"
Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez was on Chaparral's campus Monday to visit.
MEMORABLE WEEK FOR SETON, SELF
Chandler Seton Catholic girls basketball coach Karen Self reached another milestone as her team finally broke through against a nonregion rival last week.
Self, who is in her 17th season as a head coach, all at Seton, earned victory No. 400 of her illustrious career Wednesday when the Sentinels (7-2) topped Scottsdale Notre Dame 65-28.
Seton, ranked No. 1 in 4A-II, then completed a 4-0 week Saturday afternoon with a 57-52 victory at No. 2 Page. The win was the first in four attempts against Page and came less than 24 hours after a home victory over Tempe.
"I feel like, 'Wow, we just got lucky.' We hit some good shots at key moments and kind of snuck out with a win," said Self, whose team drove to Flagstaff on Friday night to shorten Saturday's travel time. "Winning in Page is tough to do."
Self's career record now stands at 402-96. Since taking over the program in 1992-93, her teams have won three 2A state titles and been runner-up twice at the 3A level and once at 2A.
BULLDOGS HAVE BITE
After struggling mightily the past two seasons, Queen Creek's boys basketball team has the look of a squad that could make a lot of noise in the state tournament.
The Bulldogs won just 13 games combined in 2006-07 and 2007-08, but have already matched that total this season. Queen Creek's 13-2 start has propelled it to No. 4 in the Tribune's latest 4A-II rankings, and the Bulldogs have won seven straight. Their only losses are to undefeated No. 2 Phoenix Greenway and No. 5 El Mirage Dysart. Queen Creek exacted revenge for the latter of those losses, though, when it beat Dysart 71-59 on Dec. 6 (after winning two other games that day) to capture the Dysart Demon Classic title.
The Bulldogs followed that up with three wins last week, two of those coming against region foes Tempe and Gilbert Williams Field.
HERE COME HOOP TOURNAMENTS AGAIN
The annual girls Nike Tournament of Champions returns to Chandler from Thursday through Monday at Chandler's four high schools, Willis Junior High and San Tan K-8 School.
None of the Arizona teams competing will be in the elite bracket (Joe Smith bracket), but 10 local teams will compete in the other four brackets. Local schools competing are Chandler Perry, Chandler, Chandler Basha, Chandler Hamilton, Mesa Red Mountain, Tempe Marcos de Niza, Tempe McClintock, Scottsdale Chaparral, Phoenix St. Mary's and Phoenix Desert Vista.
Scottsdale Horizon hosts its annual boys tournament, with Horizon, Scottsdale Christian, Tempe Marcos de Niza, Scottsdale Chaparral and Cave Creek Cactus Shadows part of the eight-team field that runs Thursday through Saturday at Horizon.
Also, a handful of boys teams are competing in the annual Phoenix Union Tournament at Phoenix Central High School and Gilbert High, including unbeaten Gilbert, Hamilton, Phoenix Mountain Pointe and Mesa Desert Ridge.
MOUNTAIN POINTE ON THE REBOUND
It's already been a better season for Phoenix Mountain Pointe's boys basketball team.
Coach Brian Fleming and the Pride were 3-2 heading into Monday night's game with Chandler. The three victories equal last year's season total from a learning year with a roster full of sophomores and freshmen. The team remains young in class standing this year, but a much better season is on the horizon. The Pride are led by sophomore point guard Jahii Carson, who is averaging 23 points a game, including a season-high 32 in a game last week. Carson averaged just more than 18 points a game last season.
The Pride have played without junior forward Michael Ramirez and don't expect him back until the end of this month or early January. Ramirez, who averaged 16.8 points a game last year, had knee surgery in the fall.