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Posted On: 01/9/18 11:24 AM
To no surprise, Shadow Mountain leads the 4A rankings. The mixture of their skilled guards and wings is unmatched in the state. With that said, the rest of 4A is deep.
Peoria and Salpointe are not in the top 10 but have a lot of potential as well. While the top spots don’t seem up for grabs, the rest of 4A is loaded with teams who are similar in their abilities.
Here are the 4A Rankings:
Shadow Mountain is the best team in the state. They have the best backcourt and some very talented wings. This team is built extremely well and cause absolute havoc due to their athleticism and high basketball IQ.
Jaelen House leads the way in most categories. The recent ASU commit is having a huge year alongside backcourt teammate Jovan Blacksher. Blacksher creates extremely well for himself and for others off of on ball screens. With that said, the thing that is special about these two is their ability to generate turnovers and capitalize off of them.
With the best backcourt in the state, Shadow Mountain was aided greatly with three talented wings transferring in. Immanuel Allen, Antonio Reeves, and Shemar Morrow bring this team needed athleticism and shooting. While the basketball IQ of Blacksher and House creates a lot for these teammates, these guys do a great job of finishing the plays.
At this point, it looks like a competition for 2nd place for 4A as Shadow Mountain continues to roll through in-state opponents.
Key Players: Jaelen House, Jovan Blacksher, Immanuel Allen, Antonio Reeves, Shemar Morrow, and Jalen Williams
Key Wins: Tempe, Cactus Shadows, Pinnacle, Chino Hills, Sierra Canyon, and Paradise Valley
Catalina Foothills is the clear choice for number 2 in the 4A Rankings. They have played extremely well and have a number of quality wins to show for it. Further, some of their quality wins came without point guard Sam Beskind.
Beskind is one of the best point guards in the state due to his size and ability to score the basketball in an array of ways. His creating opens things up for his teammates as well. Further, he is a stout on ball defender.
In addition to Beskind, Spencer Lewis plays a huge role for this team. While Beskind was out, Lewis picked up the slack en route to being named to the all-tournament team.
At this point, it looks inevitable, barring a bracket that makes them play earlier, that Catalina Foothills will match-up with Shadow Mountain for the state title.
Key Players: Sam Beskind and Spencer Lewis
Key Wins: Cholla, Desert Mountain, Buena, and Cienega
Nogales has played extremely well this season. As of recent, they beat the favorite to win the 4A state title in Utah with Orem. In addition to beating Orem, they have impressive wins over Basha and Queen Creek.
Sammy Legleu is the primary contributor for this team. His ability to score the basketball in an array of ways makes him a headache for opposing teams. He is a knockdown shooter from deep who is more than capable of taking opposing players off of the dribble.
In addition to Legleu, Edgar Condes spreads the floor well for this team as well. Lastly, Fabian Maldonado is a slasher who can shoot. His intensity on the defensive end and on the glass makes up for the lack of size on this team.
Key Players: Sammy Legleu, Fabian Maldonado, and Edgar Condes
Key Wins: Orem, Queen Creek, Sunnyside, and Basha
While Buckeye does not have the most impressive wins, they are extremely talented and have won the vast majority of the games they have played.
Otis Frazier is a lengthy guard who is explosive and can create for himself as well as any player in 4A. Further, he is a capable shooter who has a good change of pace on his ball handling. Further, Tay Boothman shares the backcourt with him and is a more than capable scorer.
This team has a number of athletic and skilled pieces that can make them tough for opposing teams to guard. With the state tournament being a 1 and done format, their number of scorers aid them greatly. Buckeye will be a factor in the state tournament.
Key Players: Otis Frazier, Tay Boothman, and Elias Anderson
Key Wins: Centennial, Sunnyside, and Peoria
Cactus Shadows made our initial rankings and appear in the mid-season 4A rankings. They are scrappy and full of shooters. Despite not having a lot of length, they play extremely hard and can shoot the lights out of it. Their ability to extend the court and their toughness make them a fun team to watch and a hard team to play against.
Jake Benci has been stellar this season. He has received support from a quality cast of teammates who are all capable of shooting from deep. Straight and Middle drives result in a high number of 3s due to the help side having to rotate.
Although living and dying by the 3 can be tough in a 1 and done format, they have enough shooters that someone can afford to have an off day. Further, due to their shooting abilities, they are more than able to turn games ugly quickly.
Key Players: Knox Riddle, CJ Nnorom, and Jake Benci
Key Wins: Maricopa, Queen Creek, and Peoria
Key Players: Shaun Wahlstrom and Grant Greabell
Key Wins: Peoria, Moon Valley, Higley, Independence, and Apollo
Key Players: Shon Robinson, Jason Harris, Unisa Turay
Key Wins: Liberty and Centennial
Key Players: Harding Eddie, Emilo Esquivel, Joram Watson, and Brett McGowan
Key Wins: Peoria and Winslow
Key Players: Gabe Lee and Jok Jok
Key Wins: Camelback, Apollo, Independence, and Walden Grove
Key Players: Jackson Lee and Carson Lee
Key Wins: Liberty, Salpointe, and Mesquite
Salpointe Catholic is off to a slow start as Majok Deng has been injured and Evan Nelson was unable to play for the 1st half of the season due to transferring. With this group finally at full strength, expect them to make a run late in the season and be a factor in the state tournament.