Bejarano Out Slings Opponents in Desert Duel

Phoenix North High standout Daniel Bejarano returned home as one of the featured attractions in the inaugural Desert Duel Memorial tournament held at Gilbert Mesquite HS. The 2010 shooting guard, listed nationally 4th by, gave the home crowd and college coaches in attendance the type of performance they've been accustomed to scoring 45 points in two games on Sunday.

In his first game, 6-4 195 Daniel Bejarano and the Arizona Stars prevailed over Texas Select 65-56. Bejarano's squad had a distinct size disadvantage and the guard was playing down low in the Stars' zone defense. Nonetheless, he was able to register two blocks, haul down some crucial rebounds, and his quick hands were able to disrupt the opponent's passing lanes.

Under the watchful eyes of Arizona State's head coach Herb Sendek, as well as assistant coaches from Arizona and UCLA, Bejarano displayed his versatile offense showing a very nice shooting stroke from the outside, as well as the athleticism and power to penetrate and finish inside. His quickness and elevation is impressive to say the least, and he makes great decisions with the ball helping his teammates get involved.

25 of his 27 points came from the field (was 2-2 from the charity stripe), and he was 12-21 from the field (including 1-6 from beyond the arc), but converted six of his eight last shots to preserve the win. He did sit several minutes of the second half on the bench with foul trouble, but the Stars were able to maintain their lead while he was sidelined.

"I just like to be active," said Bejarano following the game, "that's why I got into foul trouble. My team has heart and that's why they were able to make a run while I was on the bench."

As the July tournament circuit is nearing an end, the guard has been very pleased with his play this month. "I've been working on going hard to the hole and finishing with my left hand and I think I did well with that," he noted.

"It's just wonderful," Bejarano stated concerning his recruitment with ASU. "The coaches have been watching every game of mine." Arizona, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Marquette, Notre Dame, Oregon, and Florida are some of the schools Bejarano listed as recruiting him in earnest as of late.

In his second game Bejarano scored 18 points in a 64-52 win over Arizona Premier Blue. This was a game that was true to the sports cliché ‘let the game come to you' as the guard continued to get his teammates involved in the game, playing very well defensively, while having a very quiet offensive game in the first half not forcing any shots.

Bejarano scored just four points in the opening stanza, but in the second he heated up from downtown draining a trio of consecutive shots. Furthermore, he was fouled on another three-point attempt and converted all three foul shots. The guard dazzled with an off-balance lay-up, as well as two beautiful assists – a bounce pass that went for a lay-up and a full court outlet pass.

The Desert Duel Memorial tournament runs through Tuesday and if Sunday was any indication, Bejarano and the Arizona Stars are likely to play in the later stages of this local event.

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