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  • Initial divisional placement has issues, appeal process

    Travis Schureman was a bit perplexed, much like everyone else, but he isn’t as concerned as others about where the Queen Creek football program will land once divisional placement is finalized.The state got a glimpse of what the next scheduling block — through the 2017-18 school year — is going to look like on Tuesday when the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) released its initial divisional placement for team sports.There were several surprises with the focus coming on Division I football, which has two less teams (down to 27 from 29) but six new programs.The biggest surprises came with McClintock and Queen Creek making the leap from Division III to Division I.“The AIA is going to do what it does and we have no control over that,” Schureman said. “We can only control how we prepare for football games.”The Bulldogs have had success in recent years, reaching the state finals twice and winning once over the last three years, and have had played and defeated Division I schools Highland and Perry the last two years.

  • Negative thoughts can ruin careers

    The impulse is so foreign and wrong that once the thought of giving up enters the mind it can destroy the foundation of an athlete’s will.It can leave his or her confidence crumbled and torn. If the negative thought gets imbedded deep enough it can be hard to return from the dark side, never competing at their previous level of expectations again.Alex Carrillo had such thoughts break him, but the Desert Vista junior has seemingly gotten past the darkness.“I gave up,” Carrillo said talking about last year’s state semifinals. “I don’t know where (the thought) came from, but it was there. I hated it, but I didn’t let it stick around long.”The Desert Vista two-time state placer has recovered, opening the year with 24 straight wins including tournament wins at Moon Valley, Cerritos Tournament of Champions and Peoria — and looks to be on pretty solid ground heading into this weekend’s ultimate test.The Flowing Wells Invitational, which had its finals late Saturday night, is considered the toughest tournament in Arizona and somewhere in the 120-pound bracket will be the true test.

  • Big arena events prepare players for postseason, college

    On Monday Desert Vista and Skyline boys basketball teams stepped onto the hardwood just like they normally do. They laced up their sneakers the same as always, the only difference was they weren’t playing in a high school gym that night.It still counted as a Skyline home game, but it took place on the Phoenix Suns’ home floor at US Airways Center.“Just the atmosphere changes,” Desert Vista senior guard Quincy Taylor said. “It’s just the feeling of an actual arena. When you get a chance to play in here and your adrenaline is pumping it just feels a little different.”It feels a little different because it is.The floor is a little bit bigger, which Taylor says helps with floor spacing and creating offense. The lights are brighter too and that can create some problems particularly for shooters.“The depth perception is the thing that gets most players,” Desert Vista coach Tony Darden said. “You notice that the free throw line is — when you’re looking through the glass — is a further distance back … just dealing with that in larger arenas can throw you off a little bit.”

  • Photos: Desert Vista vs Skyline basketball

    The Hoopin’ It Up At the Arena basketball game between Desert Vista and Skyline at U.S. Airways Center on Monday, Jan 12, 2015.

  • Late run leads DV over Skyline

    Desert Vista wasn’t expecting to get into a shootout with Skyline. But with its defense struggling, that is exactly what happened, as the Thunder eeked out an 85-82 win at US Airways Center on Monday night.When the Thunder needed stops down the stretch, the defense came through. Desert Vista went on a 18-4 run over the final 2 minutes and 43 seconds to erase a 78-67 deficit.“Right now we have a lot to work on,” Thunder coach Tony Darden said. “We need to pick it up on one side of the basketball court right now. Our identity is defense and we didn’t show that today.”Skyline (9-7) raced out to an early 11-5 lead to start the game but soon saw its lead evaporate as the first quarter ended with the Thunder (15-1) leading 19-16.The Coyotes quickly transitioned to a full-court press, and they had success slowing down Desert Vista's offense as the Coyotes took a 38-37 lead into halftime.The Thunder were effective on the offensive end, with senior Quincy Taylor scoring a game-high 26 points, senior Brandon Clarke putting up 19, and junior Tarik Cool posting 24.

  • Skoda: Expanded role changes focus

    It’s not so much a goodbye; it’s just the relationship is going in a different direction.As in the East Valley and West Valley.The last four and half years of covering the Ahwatukee Foothills sports scene almost exclusively has been one of the best runs of my professional career, but I am so sick and tired of covering every single state finals.Quit it already. Let someone else get some hardware. Stop getting selected in the first round of the MLB draft, winning medals at the Olympics and getting measured for Super Bowl rings.Enough is enough.I mean, I’ve covered a state champion during that span in every sport other than softball and tennis.

  • Skoda: Expanded role changes focus

    It’s not so much a goodbye; it’s just the relationship is going in a different direction.As in the East Valley and West Valley.The last four and half years of covering the Ahwatukee Foothills sports scene almost exclusively has been one of the best runs of my professional career, but I am so sick and tired of covering every single state finals.Quit it already. Let someone else get some hardware. Stop getting selected in the first round of the MLB draft, winning medals at the Olympics and getting measured for Super Bowl rings.Enough is enough.I mean, I’ve covered a state champion during that span in every sport other than softball and tennis.

  • Transformation of CDS boys hoops began in 2010

    Corona del Sol boys basketball has become one of Arizona’s premier programs regardless of sport or season.The Aztecs looked to be primed to win, or at least be in contention for their fourth straight big-school state title.If Corona (13-1 through Wednesday) can pull it off, it will match the longest streak in state history for the largest classification when Phoenix Union won four straight from 1958-61.But that success hasn’t merely come overnight. It started several years ago.Three straight years of winning state titles has turned the basketball program from a good team in Arizona to a team that has firmly planted itself in the national spotlight.The past three years, the program has won 95 games while dropping only six through Wednesday. Last year, it was the nation’s fifth-ranked high school basketball team, according to MaxPreps.com

  • Q&A with Mountain View boys soccer coach Kevin Burke

    It wasn’t long ago when the Mountain View boys soccer team was not just a team that was down on its luck, but a team people dreaded to play.After a 2012 brawl with Skyline, Mountain View earned a reputation as being a bunch of “thugs,” said coach Kevin Burke.But now in his third year, Burke has the program trending in the right direction. The East Valley Tribune caught up with Burke on Wednesday to talk about his team and how he got things turned around.Q: Just to start, you’re 4-4-1. How is your season going so far from what you’ve seen?A: It’s going good. In the section games we’ve played well enough to get a result. We probably should have won the other two, to be perfectly honest, based on the way they went. The first tournament wasn’t the greatest. It was a rough tournament. But we’re in the (Arizona) Showcase. We’re in the semis. We actually play in the semis today so this one has been good.Q: You say your first tournament (the Campo Verde tournament) was a rough one. What kind of progress have you made from that first tournament to now?

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