Posted On: 08/19/18 1:50 PM
The Desert Valley region should be quite intense. Obviously, Pinnacle is at the top of the field, but the other spots are largely up for grabs. Liberty, Chaparral, Boulder Creek, and Sandra Day all return valuable key prospects who should push their respective teams toward being competitive.
This region will be tight and have a number of high quality games. Further, multiple teams from this field should have their eyes on making the 6A state tournament.
At this point, it is almost redundant as everyone is talking about how good Pinnacle will be this upcoming season. They have all of the pieces in place to win the state championship once again. Needless to say, that puts them in a great spot to win the Desert Sky. Nico Mannion is one of the best guards in the nation. As if that was not enough, Pinnacle is loaded everywhere else as well.
Jordan Mains and Trent Brown are more than capable shooters who do all of the little things. Brown makes great decisions with the basketball and always has great assist to turnover ratios. Moreover, Tosh Baker will fill the center spot. Baker has a soft touch around the rim and is looking more and more athletic.
Lastly, Marcus Libman will most likely round out the starting five. He is a consistent shooter from three and a good on-ball defender. Needless to say, Pinnacle has pieces at every spot.
While Liberty will be without NCAA Division-I basketball prospect Quentin Guliford and knockdown shooter Connor Ray, the team still has plenty to be excited about. Jacob Edahl has been a key contributor for the team since his freshman year. He makes great decisions with the basketball and makes his teammates better. Further, he takes good shots and shoots it at a high level.
In addition to Edahl,Josh Ursery was a key impact player for this team last year. He is capable of scoring in bunches. Moreover, he is a tremendous athlete who is hard for opposing guards to stay in front of. Between these two, Liberty has one of the best backcourts in the state.
Further, this team had a number of young prospects who had success last season. One of those is sharpshooting wing Jacob Patterson. Patterson is long and provides the up-tempo team with a consistent shooting presence.
Their pieces as well as style of play puts Liberty in a good position to compete in the Desert Sky region.
3. Sandra Day
This number three spot is largely up for grabs as Sandra Day, Chaparral, and Boulder Creek all have key returners who could give them the edge to getting in at this number three spot.
With that said, Sandra Day knows how to win. After nearly winning 20 games last year and bringing back a key part of that core, this team looks extremely promising. Obviously, they will have to figure out life without TJ Connaker. However, they have some skilled guards who will be able to step up and fill that void by committee.
The top returning guard is Chase Morley. Morley averaged nearly 4 assists per game and will have even more responsibility placed on his shoulders to facilitate and get his teammates involved. Keaton Rodgers has improved his versatility and will continue to play on the block as well as the perimeter. Morley will be key to getting Rodgers involved in spots where he can be successful.
In addition to these two, Elijah Trice will need to take on a bigger role. Morley and Trice will need to pair up to be one of the top backcourts in 6A in order for Sandra Day to live up to this ranking and exceed it.