Senior center Michael Crowell, a starter on Mesa High’s state championship boys basketball team, will undergo surgery to repair a dislocated shoulder on Friday.
He injured the shoulder during the Jackrabbits’ win over McClintock on Dec. 20, but refused to be sidelined.
Instead, Crowell kept the injury secret so he could continue to play without worrying about other teams attempting to knock him out of games.
"He really sucked it up this season," Mesa coach Shawn Lynch said of the Jackrabbits’ tallest player and best post defender. "We don’t win the state championship without him."
New sites: The 5A conference’s basketball coaches voted over the weekend to hold future state quarterfinal games at the home site of the higher-seeded team.
The games were held on neutral courts within the region of the higher seed this spring (for example, top seed Mesa played at Mountain View).
Quarterfinal games could still be moved to bigger neutral venues to accommodate large crowds.
Hamilton looking for new coach:
Huskies athletic director John Wrenn is seeking applications for the vacant girls basketball coaching position after Tim Rutt stepped down at season’s end. Rutt coached the Huskies the past three seasons. They reached the state tournament this season, falling to quarterfinalist Glendale Ironwood 54-39 in the first round. Hamilton was 10-16 this season.
Fresh start for Desert Mountain:
Desert Mountain has five freshmen, four of whom start, on its varsity. You can hardly tell.
Freshman pitcher Lauren Kemp has won five of six games and added a save and helped the Wolves win the Lion Country Classic. She also batted .545 in the tournament with seven RBIs, a double and three triples.
Last week the Wolves (7-2) notched wins over Highland and Mesquite, with Kemp and freshman pitcher Whitney Phillips picking up wins. Yet another freshman, Christy McDannell, is also making her presence felt. She has confounded several coaches’ attempts to pitch around standout Stefanie Ewing.
Three times Ewing has been intentionally walked in front of McDannell, and the freshman followed those walks with two triples and a home run.
State champion calvary: Saguaro is off to a disappointing 2-4 start, but the Sabercats are getting some help on the mound from Saguaro’s 4A state champion basketball team. Derek Tarapacki and Danny O’Boyle, who both played integral roles for the Sabercats’ basketball team, will be pitching for the baseball team.
Tarapacki, a senior, is in his third year of varsity baseball. O’Boyle, also a senior, pitched for the Sabercats as a sophomore but took last season off to concentrate on basketball.
Tough week ahead: Dobson, which dropped its first two games of the season, has rebounded with three straight wins heading into the start of 5A East Valley Region play.
The Mustangs play three region games this week — Yuma Cibola today, Mountain View on Thursday and Westwood on Friday — then compete in the Central-East Valley-Fiesta Tournament on Saturday at McClintock.
The Mustangs play a doubleheader Saturday against Mountain Pointe and Desert Mountain.
"We’ll probably have to bring up some sophomores just to eat up some innings," coach Dave Tykoski said. "It’s a brutal stretch."
Dobson did get some help last week with the addition of basketball players Matt McConnell and Jason Sherrer, starters on last year’s team.
Winners: Give Mountain View the first feather in the cap of the boys season. The Toros beat Corona del Sol in the final of the Wolf Howl Tournament at Chandler High on Saturday.
The host Wolves defeated Glendale Deer Valley for third place. Chandler’s Grant Johansen was named tournament MVP and was joined on the all-tournament team by teammate Ray Lee, Corona’s Josh Book and two Toros — Stephen Hill and Jason Jarvis.