4A Final Four

afireinside breaks down the 4A final four coming up this Thursday. Glendale, Apollo, Slope and Santa Rita have a date at the Glendale Arena for the 4A State Championship...

Who: Sonoran Region #1 Tucson Santa Rita versus Skyline Region #1 Sunnyslope When: Thursday, February 24th 5PM

Where: Glendale Arena


After pulling off the upset of the tournament with a 66-63 win at Page High School, the Sunnyslope Vikings have their eyes set on reaching the 4A tournament final.  After an inconsistent regular season that saw more losing streaks than winning ones, Dan Mannix guided his team to the Skyline Region crown.  Mannix and the Vikings haven't looked back from there – eliminating Vail Cienega 66-65 in double overtime and beating #1 Page last Saturday.  In the tournament, Sunnyslope has been led by 6-0 senior Walker Donaldson (18 tourney ppg) and 5-9 junior TJ Campbell (25 ppg), but some might say the real leader is the spirit of Joshua Conard.  Joshua Lee Conard, 17, twin brother to Sunnyslope's Jordan Conard, was tragically killed in a drunk driving accident in June of 2004.  His memory is very much alive and well within the basketball team and the community.  Jordan, who was seriously injured in the accident, wears his brother's jersey, number forty-four, in his honor.  Santa Rita arrived in the final four via a much easier route.  The Eagles defeated Prescott Bradshaw Mountain 65-55, and then beat Cave Creek Cactus Shadows 63-54 last Saturday.  The Eagles are led by Devin Stewart, Alex Walker, and Kyle Carney. 


Who: Desert Sky Region #1 Glendale Apollo versus Skyline Region #2 Glendale

When: Thursday, February 24th 8:30 PM

Where: Glendale Arena


Another surprise team has emerged from the Skyline Region to enter the 4A final four.  Glendale High School, like their Skyline Region comrades from Sunnyslope, has had an impressive run to the final four.  It started with a 63-52 win over favored Tucson Rincon, and then continued with a 68-66 victory against Avondale Agua Fria; the train continued to gain steam with a 63-58 overtime nail-bitter against Flagstaff Coconino.  Junior DJ Nicholas led the team during the first two contests, but it was William Nosie who stepped up against Coconino.  Nosie contributed 24 points and hit three clutch free-throws in overtime.  Apollo, the heavy favorite now that Page has been eliminated, has basically walked into the final four.  Apollo finds themselves sitting pretty after a 74-59 trouncing of Nogales, and then the Hawks built a 20-point lead on their way to beating Scottsdale Coronado 66-54 in the quarterfinals.  Led by junior Tristan Wilson and senior Monti Washington, the Hawks present a tough match-up for any team.  Their sheer athleticism, combined with smart basketball, will play a central role in their quest to lift the golden ball.

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