Basketball playoffs: 15 Southern Arizona teams to quarterfinal round

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Rod Springer played his last game for Buena. He is one of only three Colts to score over 1,000 points and he has played in more games (114) than any other player in the history of the school. (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Rod Springer played his last game for Buena. He is one of only three Colts to score over 1,000 points and he has played in more games (114) than any other player in the history of the school. (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Starting with the Division II girl’s, No. 1 Cienega will take on No. 9 Ironwood Ridge next Wednesday (schedule below). Cienega defeated Ironwood Ridge 63-36 in December and it will be hard to bet against the Bobcats in this game also.

Whatever the outcome, the Nighthawks have had a dream season with 25 wins. With 58 wins in her career, Nikki Simpson is the most successful coach in Ironwood Ridge history. On the other side, Matt Ruiz is 30-0 in his first year on the job.

No. 10 Sahuaro will be playing No. 2 Chandler Seton Catholic next Thursday. It seems like Karen Self has won a couple of dozen championships in her career but this could be a classic fight to the finish with the Cougars bringing an inside and outside game.

Only a junior, forward Sydney Harden has 1,311 career points for a reason. The Cougars have also made over 100 three-pointers.

In D-III action, No. 4 Safford will face off against No. 5 Pusch Ridge, guaranteeing a Southern Arizona team in the semifinal round. No. 22 Thatcher has also qualified for the quarterfinal round.

No. 19 Palo Verde lost to No. 3 Winslow but Sydni Stallworth scored 29 more points giving her 2,182 career points. 12th best in the history of Arizona.

No. 11 Patagonia is the only Southern Arizona team left in D-IV action. More on D-III and D-IV later this week.

For the boys, No. 2 Cholla, No. 3 Cienega, No. 9 Sunnyside and No. 11 Nogales make up half of the D-II bracket. Unfortunately, three of the teams are on one side with Cienega and Nogales going after each other in the quarterfinal round.

I’m predicting a Southern Arizona championship.

No. 6 Palo Verde and No. 16 Thatcher advanced to the quarterfinal round. The Titans haven’t been this good (it seems) since the Bryce Cotton and Chris Klassen days.

No. 5 Sells Baboquivari and No. 7 Elfrida Valley Union have made it to the D-IV quarterfinals. We saw this coming and we saw it early in the season once Arthur Cummings transferred to Valley Union and Bright Benson got things rolling at Baboquivari.

Simply, it pays to watch the small schools play.

GIRLS

Division II

Quarterfinals: Feb. 25 or 26
No. 1 Cienega vs. No. 9 Ironwood Ridge, TBD
(Feb. 25/Gila River Arena)
No. 10 Sahuaro vs. No. 2 Chandler Seton Catholic, 6 p.m.
(Feb. 26/Chaparral HS)

Division III

Second Round: Saturday
No. 4 Safford 68, No. 13 Snowflake 65 (OT)
No. 5 Pusch Ridge 42, Whiteriver Alchesay 30
No. 3 Winslow 51, No. 19 Palo Verde 44
No. 22 Thatcher 48, No. 6 Goodyear Estrella Foothills 36

Quarterfinals: Thursday, Feb. 26 (Gila River Arena)
No. 4 Safford vs. No. 5 Pusch Ridge, 10:30 a.m.
No. 22 Thatcher vs. No. 3 Winslow, 1:30 p.m.

Division IV

Second Round: Saturday
No. 12 St. Michael 52, No. 5 Desert Christian 41
No. 11 Patagonia 40, No. 6 Chandler Prep 28
No. 3 Valley (Sanders) 68, No. 14 Sells Baboquivari 24
No. 1 Gilbert Christian 48, No. 16 Duncan 16

Quarterfinals: Thursday, Feb. 26 (Prescott Valley)
No. 11 Patagonia vs. No. 3 Valley (Sanders), Noon

BOYS

Division II

Second Round: Saturday at 7 p.m.
No. 2 Cholla 64, No. 15 Buena 49
No. 3 Cienega 79, No. 14 Tempe 69
No. 9 Sunnyside 44, No. 8 Phoenix Paradise Valley 41
No. 11 Nogales 71, No. 6 Avondale La Joya Community 64
No. 4 Gilbert Christian 61, No. 20 Pueblo 56

Quarterfinals: Feb. 25 or 26
No. 2 Cholla vs. No. 19 Phoenix Arcadia, 7:45 p.m.
(Feb. 26/Chaparral HS)
No. 3 Cienega vs. No. 11 Nogales, 4:15 p.m.
(Feb. 26/Chaparral HS)
No. 9 Sunnyside vs. No. 1 Phoenix Shadow Mountain
(Feb. 25/Gila River Arena)

Division III

Quarterfinals: Thursday, Feb. 26 (Gila River Arena)
No. 6 Palo Verde vs. No. 3 Chinle, Noon
No. 16 Thatcher vs. No. 8 Chandler Valley Christian, 6 p.m.

Division IV

Second Round: Saturday
No. 5 Sells Baboquivari 55, No. 21 Glendale Joy Christian 53
No. 7 Elfrida Valley Union 79, No. 10 The Gregory School 55
No. 2 Phoenix Arizona Lutheran 67, No. 15 Desert Christian 54

Quarterfinals: Thursday, Feb. 26 (Prescott Valley)
No. 5 Sells Baboquivari vs. No. 4 Colorado City El Capitan, 10:30 a.m.
No. 7 Elfrida Valley Union vs. No. 2 Phoenix Arizona Lutheran, 4:30 p.m.

Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014 and has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. His own children have won multiple state high school championships and were named to all-state teams. Competing in hockey, basketball, baseball and track & field in high school, his unique perspective can only be found here, on AIA365.com and on the pages of the Vail Voice and the Tanque Verde Voice. Contact Andy Morales at AMoralesMyTucson@yahoo.com



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