The start of the quarterfinals for prep football across the state also presents the beginning of the historic Open Division playoffs, as the state’s top eight teams from 6A, 5A and 4A begin their quest for a true state championship.
The third-ranked Basha Bears girls volleyball program found themselves facing an uphill battle on Tuesday night at Desert Financial Arena in Tempe, as they trailed top-seeded and district-rival Perry by two sets in the 6A Girls Volleyball State Championship.
Makayla Donahoo was not supposed to be on the badminton court, especially with her heading to college on a Division I softball scholarship at Weber State.
The teams from Mesa and Chandler were in the fifth set of a spirited girls’ volleyball match. As the score went back and forth, the crowd went wild with each passing point.
Queen Creek quarterback Devin Larsen found Jett Koester for a 46-yard touchdown pass on the first drive Friday night and the 5A Bulldogs never looked back, defeating 6A Chandler Hamilton, 41-28.
The typical successful wrestler has been on the mat for years, has wrestled a ton of matches outside of the regular season and has a refined set of skills honed over countless hours of drilling.
In the second meeting of No. 2 Williams Field and No. 5 Queen Creek in the semifinals on Friday, the Blackhawks used defensive dominance and a potent rushing attack to defeat their rival, 37-12.
The 2016 playoffs have spoiled fans with great rematches from the regular season, and as the semifinals get ready to kickoff, rematches are once again slated for Friday night.
The final rankings had some movement, including a new top-ranked team for the first time all year, after the regular season came to an end.
Twenty area teams had their school name placed on a line in the AIA state football playoff brackets Saturday morning.
Facing a six-point deficit midway through the fourth quarter, and with an All-American kicker at his disposal, Williams Field coach Steve Campbell decided to gamble.
At the beginning of the year, it was easy to pinpoint Chandler-Hamilton the game of the week for the final Friday of the regular season.