Posted On: 01/4/18 2:03 PM
5A has already been off to a crazy start with the returning state champion beat early in the season by Deer Valley. In the much anticipated rematch, Sunnyslope pulled off a 24 point win over Deer Valley at Deer Valley. Both of these wins shook the 5A rankings significantly.
With the mid-season point finally reached, here are our updated rankings for 5A.
Despite losing to Deer Valley earlier in the season, Sunnyslope avenged that lose by beating Deer Valley by 24 points over Deer Valley. Further, the giant was awaken in that defeat as they have beat every Arizona team they have played by at least 10 points or more with the exception of Red Mountain.
Kyle Fischer makes this team go due to his high basketball IQ and ability to score the basketball in an array of ways. Further, he brings a toughness to this team that is contagious.
In addition to only losing to Deer Valley as far as in-state teams are concerned, they have done it while being shorthanded. They have a number of skilled prospects who have been injured and will be returning to action quite soon. Although there are a couple of teams that are more than capable of contending for the state title, Sunnyslope is still the standard.
Key Players: Kyle Fischer, Allan Abayev, Bryson Mewhinney, Chris Orozco, and Jaren Whitfield
Key Wins: Red Mountain, Westview, Queen Creek, Deer Valley, Chaparral, Liberty, Estrella Foothills, and Rancho Solano
Deer Valley has also played an extremely tough schedule and has only two loses on the year. One of the loses was to one of the top teams in the state of Utah in Pleasant Grove. Further, the other lose is to Sunnyslope.
Deer Valley came out of the gates extremely strong with wins over Sunnyslope, Ironwood, Arcadia, Apollo, Liberty, and Paradise Valley. With the caliber of opponents they have played and beaten, their is plenty of argument to be made on Deer Valley’s behalf.
Further, this team might have the most talent on the roster of any team in 5A and potentially in the state. They have length, athleticism, and skill that can hurt teams in an array of ways. With that said, their primary scorers are Bryce Davis and Deven Breckner.
This team will be a tough out in the state tournament and could quite possibly be the next 5A state champion as teams will struggle with their depth and skill.
Key Players: Deven Breckner, Bryce Davis, Jaret Allen, Johnny Diaz, Keyvaughn Williams, Ari Danzy, and Brandon Savage
Key Wins: Sunnyslope, Arcadia, Apollo, Liberty, and Paradise Valley
Liberty started the season a little slow. However, they were without key pieces Josh Ursery and Conner Ray. Ursery was out due to his 9 game suspension for transferring while Ray was out for undisclosed reasons.
With Ray back in the lineup, the team proceeded to win 7 out of 8 games, with three of those games played without Quentin Guliford, the top prospect on the roster.
Guliford, who is returning from an ankle injury, is finally healthy and this team is back to being full strength, which is something that we have not seen all season. Without all of the pieces, this team was one of the most dangerous in 5A. With all of them, it is conceivable that they could win the state title.
Key Players: Josh Ursery, Quentin Guliford, Jacob Edahl, and Conner Ray
Key Wins: Sandra Day O’Connor, Apollo, Paradise Valley, and Shadow Ridge
McClintock has gotten off to an extremely strong start under the performance of Josh Baker. Baker is one of the best shooters in the state, and he has improved his ability to attack off of the dribble.
In addition to Baker, Armani Williams, who did not participate in their most recent tournament games, has improved his ability to shoot it from deep and has been the second leading scorer for the team.
In addition to Baker and Williams, this group is aided by a bunch of skilled and athletic role players who are capable of producing at a high level. This team has all of the pieces to make a run late in the season. If they continue to play at a high level like they are capable of, they could be dangerous. They are in one of the toughest regions in the state and will need to play their best basketball to stay at this spot.
Key Players: Josh Baker, Armani Williams, Mekhi Rodgers, and Andre Thurman
Key Wins: Paradise Valley, Seton Catholic, Desert Mountain, and Williams Field
Buena has played quite and well early in the season. It was expected due to them returning Kino Bellinger and Dominic Mooney. However, the emergence of Cyrus Thomas has been a pleasant surprise that has helped the team greatly.
Buena has already beaten the majority of the top teams in the Tucson area and looks ready to challenge the rest of the teams in 5A. Despite an early season lose to Cholla, they turned around and beat both Sahuaro and Cholla by 20+ as of recent.
This team is playing with a bulldog mentality and has plenty of skill. They will be a challenger at the end of the season and could end of surprising some of the talented teams from the Phoenix area.
Key Players: Kino Bellinger, Cyrus Thomas, Dominic Mooney, Jr.
Key Wins: Nogales, Cholla, and Sahuaro
Key Players: Jordan Morris, Tashon Brown, Logan Gallaga, and Nate Perry
Key Wins: Chaparral, Queen Creek, and Cactus Shadows
Key Players: Jordan Green, Breven Burnett, and Kalani Headen
Key Wins: Catalina Foothills, Mesquite, Arcadia, and Walden Grove
Key Players: Aiden Weber, James Hodge-Green, Luke Ashworth, and Jaylin Fleming
Key Wins: Queen Creek and McClintock
Key Players:Kingdom Artis, Jaden Lee, and David Exline
Key Wins: Queen Creek
Key Players: Dylan Newell, Dashawn Engram, and Jacob Jansper
Key Wins: Tucson