Tuesday night (6/1) at Sunnyslope:
Had a great time chatting with coaches and parents about their teams. Met some really nice folks for the first time. Didn't watch as much basketball as I would've liked due to the chats. Hard for me to do two things at once,that's typical for a man you know.
Coaches I spoke with:Mountain Pointe's Sam Ballard and Josh Rosenbaum Deer Valley's John Fellens and Jason Feldman
Parents I met/reunited with:Ironwood's Jim Brandsma Deer Valley's Mark Lacy (went to high school with him, never made the connection with his son Steve until last night...it's a small, small world.) Chaparral's M/M Phil Benson (Booster Club President)
As you can see, I was a social butterfly last night. But here's what I witnessed on the court:
$ Carl Hayden guards Darnell Terry and Roy McLemore are as good as ever. The team desperately needs a big man to balance the team. Hopefully the Falcons find one this summer.
$ Mountain Ridge is rebuilding. Senior guards Jeff Weber and Adam Wood will lead the way. Junior forward Josh Morrow will be tough too. Didn't get a good enough look at the rest of the crew last night but will try to later.
$ Arcadia is a scrappy bunch and clawed back from a double-digit deficit against Moon Valley to tie the game in the final seconds of regulation. The game went to a two minute overtime and guess what?...I missed the final score, have no idea who won....shame on me.
Titan guards Sean Delnoce and Nate Broadman played well. Gotta learn the big men's names though...so please help me with a scouting report.
$ Didn't see Moon Valley at all last season so I'm not familiar with the Rockets. One player pointed out to me was junior Seth Behrens and from the little I saw of him, he's a solid player.
I always enjoy watching John Bouie coach. He has by far the loudest voice of any coach in the state. Bouie is a good coach who always has his players playing very physical defense.
$ Deer Valley spanked Ironwood soundly in the evening's third game. DV was minus Lawrence Hill, out with a sprained ankle. I kinda enjoyed watching the Skyhawks without Hill because the spotlight focused brightly on a couple other cast members.
Eli Davis, the state's best all-around athlete, has really bulked up. He's now at 205 lbs. of lean tiger meat.
I love to watch Jeremy Brooks and Chris Polk run the half court trap. These two should be jailed for thievery.
Two of the more important role players next season for Deer Valley will be senior forwards Steve Lacy and Corey Sollom.
You've never heard of Sollom until now but watch out for this undersized 6' bundle of energy. Sollom is a character that thrives on doing the dirty work on the boards.
Lacy, at 6'6" has always been a fine player and his game keeps improving. You can tell by his alert play he's making an increased effort on the defensive end. He also hit a very nice 3 pointer that showed his offensive versatility. But most of the damage Lacy will do will be in the paint.
Mike Brooks, Jeremy's little brother, is going to be a very capable backup point guard.
The Skyhawks will be the 5A preseason number one ranked team. They'll have a huge bull's eye on their back. Hopefully this pressure will make the team mentally tough enough to make a run for the state title. We'll see?
$ Ironwood struggled. They have athletes but looked discombobulated last night. One of their key big men was missing so that might've been a factor. The Eagles will get better...certainly playing Deer Valley had a little something to do with their inept play.
$ Yes, yesterday's message board post about Alhambra's coach Mike Slifer chewing tobacco on the bench appears to be true. I didn't personally inspect the wad tucked in his lower lip, but I'd bet my bottom dollar it wasn't chewing gum. At least I don't think you spit gum chaw in a bottle, like the one Slifer had underneath his chair.
This issue could blow up into a major controversy or may simply blow away. It seems all schools today promote a tobacco free campus. Some would argue chewing tobacco is the same as smoking it. So, Slifer is flirting with disaster.
I'm not going to take a stand on this until I give it more deep thought. For now, I'm inclined to let things lie because the only one Slifer is hurting is himself.
As for the players, didn't see the Lions play last season so again I plead unfamiliarity.
$ Chaparral's new coach has the support of the Chaparral community and I'm convinced Steve Cervantez will be treated fairly. He's certainly stepped into one heck of a mess.
The firestorm in Firebird land has been well documented on the message boards so I won't summarize the situation again. Four coaches in four years says enough.
Cervantez has talent to work with, albeit young. Last evening, no seniors were on the floor; all four having prior commitments.
The juniors present though gave a good effort. Guards Justin Hall and Cole Geringer played well as did big men Phil Benson and Brian Cook.
Chaparral's biggest problem last season was the lack of a legitimate point guard. Gerringer just might fit this mold. We'll see with a few more games.
Benson and Cook go about 6'7" to 6'9" so ya better bring your stepladder when you play the Firebirds.