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Posted On: 06/17/18 11:31 AM
Mesquite High School basketball secured third place in the Arizona Summer 64 silver bracket with a 50-33 defeat over Mountain Ridge at Cesar Chavez High School in Laveen Village on June 16.
Moving down to 4A this year due to enrollment, the Wildcats showed why they are one of the real title contenders moving forward.
An extremely tall and lengthy team at nearly every position, Mesquite locked down on defense, running out to a 13-0 lead to start the game that it would never give up.
Here are four of Mesquite’s top performers:
Artis made his presence felt early on the defensive end, using his long arms and quick feet to make life difficult for opposing guards. As the lead guard, doing much of the ball handling, he thrived in transition, using clever finishes and passes to make plays for himself and teammates.
Hill, another tall and lengthy player at his position, made smart cuts all game, utilizing his quickness and athleticism to get o the rim and finish. He played very tight on-ball defense, including the highlight play of the game. In the second half, Hill recognized that a Mountain Ridge guard had beaten a Mesquite defender off the dribble, but Hill came over and blocked the lay up attempt so hard that it bounced off the way almost back to the free throw line.
Though not as sizable as many of his Wildcat teammates, Wollangk made up for it with his energy and three-point shooting from the corners. While the other teammates got to the rim frequently for lay ups and to draw fouls, he often waited patiently in the corner and made opponents pay for leaving him open from distance.
Smjecanin was the biggest player on the court any time he touched the floor, and was tough to handle on the low block all game. He preferred to post up on the right block, using the same hand to score over the shoulder, there was hardly any opposition from Mountain Ridge. On defense he was an effective rim protector and pulled down a lot of tough rebounds.