Conference Preview

Posted On: 02/13/16 11:04 AM

The sectional titles are all on the line today in Division-II, Division-III, Division-IV, and Division-V. Here’s a preview of ALL the games with predicted winners.

-Division-II-

Section 2: #4 Apollo vs #9 Flagstaff – A game between two heavyweights in Division-II. Apollo has one of the backcourts in the state. Conversely the Eagles have one of the best frontcourts. While the Hawks love to push tempo, expect Flagstaff to slow this down and use their height advantage to secure a low scoring victory. This is the Division-II Game of the Night.

Section 3: #1 Shadow Mountain vs #8 Saguaro – As predicted earlier this week both Shadow and Saguaro advanced to the Section 3 title game. While Saguaro will give a bit of a challenge expect nothing less than a double digit victory for the Matadors.

Section 4: #10 Catalina Foothills vs Tucson – Catalina Foothills has been the best team in their section the majority of the year and, though Tucson rolled in an upset over Salpointe Catholic, expect the playmaking and shooting of Nik Nehls to carry Catalina to the title.

Section 5: #3 Agua Fria vs La Joya – La Joya was able to take down a Terell Seay led Shadow Ridge by 3 yesterday. Today they take on a hot Agua Fria squad that was won 20 straight games. The Lobos have given the Owls more trouble than any team in recent games but expect Agua Fria to come out with a victory.

Section 6: #2 Gilbert Christian vs Higley – Earlier this season Higley handed Gilbert Christian their first loss, defeating them by 3 points at home. However, Gilbert was playing without 6’7” senior Tony Licavoli and their freshman backcourt was very green. Now, at full strength and with a more backcourt expect Gilbert to come out with the victory this time around.

Section 7: #6 Cesar Chavez vs North – North was able to upset Trevor Browne in the semis. However, Chavez is on a different level when considering competition within their section. The Champions the Mustangs by 37 points in their first outing. While the score may not be as stretched expect a Chavez win.

-Division-III-

Section 1: #3 Snowflake vs #5 Winslow – Winslow won in convincing fashion against a competitive Window Rock. However, Snowflake has been on a role. They are successfully experienced in the post season and Kurt Wood is a matchup problem. Expect him to lead the Lobos to a section title. This is the Division-III Game of the Night.

Section 2: Cibola vs Lake Havasu – While Cibola is the top seed in Section 2, let’s not forget Lake Havasu’s potential. The Knights started the season very strong but were inconsistent. The Raiders defeated LHHS by 30+ points in their first outing but only won by 2 in their most recent match. After a convincing win over Gila Ridge expect Lake Havasu to upset Cibola in a very close match.

Section 3: #4 Casa Grande vs Pueblo Magnet – Casa Grande was able to overcome Pueblo Magnet in a high scoring affair early in the year. Expect a similar outcome as the Cougars overmatch the Warriors with their size and versatility.

Section 4: Mingus Union vs North Canyon – The Rattlers have been up and down all season long. They have good size and versatility but have had inconsistent productivity. Mingus Union, however, has been as consistent as can be. They are a fundamentally sound group that does the little things well. Expect the Marauders to get their third straight win over North Canyon.

Section 5: #1 Scottsdale Christian vs Poston Butte – It’s hard to argue that there has been a team in Division-III better than SCA. However, one team that certainly challenged them in the regular season was Poston Butte as the Eagles were only able to sneak away with a 55-52 victory. Expect the depth of Scottsdale to wear down the Broncos throughout the night, leading the Eagles to a section title.

Section 6: #2 Estrella Foothills vs Dysart – After upsetting Cactus, Dysart is an underdog against the Wolves. However, the Demons pushed Estrella to the limit in mid January, falling by only four points. After struggling with Verrado expect the Wolves to come out more focused and get a clean win over Dysart.

-Division-IV-

Section 1: #4 Alchesay vs Sedona Red Rock – Sedona is coming off a very hard fought match against Ganado in which they won by 3 points. They are taking on a more talented Alchesay team who rolled through their competition and allowed them to rest their key guys. Expect a Falcons W.

Section 2: Thatcher vs #5 Pima – Thatcher was one of two Division-IV teams that was able to knock off Pima in the regular season and they did it on the road. However, the Roughriders just revenged their other regular loss last night by beating Pusch Ridge in the semis. Expect Pima to have a lot of energy and momentum and for them to overcome an Eagles team that had a hard fought game against Douglas just one night ago.

Section 3: Lee Williams vs Joy Christian – The two lowest seeds in the section tournament have moved on to the championship game after upsetting Mohave and River Valley. Both Lee Williams and Joy Christian had very similar seasons, finishing in the middle of the pack of their division. In late January it was Joy Christian that came away with a 1 point victory over the Volunteers but, after defeating their section’s top team, expect Lee Williams to emerge victorious tonight.

Section 4: #2 Yuma Catholic vs #3 Buckeye Union – Without doubt this is the game to watch in Division-III. Yuma and Buckeye have consistently ranked in the top three all season long. Their last matchup was very exciting and saw the Shamrocks come out on top 95-88. Expect the Hawks to look to take every opportunity to revenge their loss. Both teams had tough matchups last night but it’s Yuma that has more experience with back to back games so we give them the edge. This is the Division-IV Game of the Night.

Section 5: American Leadership vs Florence – Both American Leadership and Florence had solid wins in the semifinals. The Patriots had a big win over Florence just three weeks ago and—frankly—they’re just a better team so expect them to come out on top.

Section 6: #1 Phoenix Country Day vs Coronado – This will be a very exciting match. Back in mid-December the Dons gave PCD all they could handle, taking the game to the wire before falling 91-88. Since then Coronado has been undefeated but after a close matchup last night expect them to be a bit tired against and Eagles team with a bit more depth. PCD comes out with the title.

-Division-V-

Section 1: #2 Pinon vs #5 Sanders Valley – This will definitely be an exciting game. Just two weeks ago the #2 ranked Eagles defeated the Pirates at home in a very close matchup. Both teams have secured some big wins and you can expect a tight knit score. Prediction: Pinon takes the title. This is Division-V’s Co-Game of the Night.

Section 2: #3 Bisbee vs #4 The Gregory School – Bisbee and The Gregory School are two programs that have earned respect all season long. While the Pumas steamrolled Valley Union, the Hawks had a tougher time putting away a talented St. Augustine team. Bisbee took care of business earlier this season defeating The Gregory School 88-71 but don’t expect a similar finish. However, look for the Pumas to still come out victorious. This is Division-V’s Co-Game of the Night.

Section 3:Tonopah Valley vs NFL Yet HS and JH – NFL Yet has secured some big victories this season and has been even better as the year has gone on. However, Tonopah Valley has been consistently good all year long. Expect them to capture another victory over the Eagles.

Section 4: Superior Jr./Sr. vs Miami – There was, likely, no bigger upset last night than Superior Jr./Sr.’s victory over San Carlos whose been ranked #1 all season long. While Miami’s better on paper it’s that type of win that can carry momentum over, especially in a game that takes place the next day. Calling for a Panthers win!

Section 5: Ash Fork vs El Capitan – Ashford comes in as the #1 seed in the section while El Capitan comes in as the #3 seed but, truthfully, they couldn’t be closer in terms of competition. The teams were only two games apart as the Spartans defeated El Capitan by 1 in the regular season. In fact, the Eagles only other section loss came to Rough Rock by 2 points. Despite the similarities, Ash Fork is still favored to win in this one.

Section 6: Tohono O’Odham vs Santa Cruz Valley – Tohono’s one point home win over the Dust Devils got the the #1 seed in the section but Santa Cruz Valley has been right around the top five teams in the state all season long. Expect them to emerge victorious over the Eagles in a convincing fashion as they are playing with something to prove.