Championship Saturday

Championship Saturday breakdown!
Feb 24, 2002

*6:30am, alarm goes off, and I proceed to stagger into the kitchen to brew some espresso, 4 shots, to get the juices flowing, and hyped for the Championship Saturday! Wired, and ready to see some big time hoops, I cruise to the Arena, and snag my secret parking spot. (I ain't paying more for parking than I do for the games baybeee). As I shake,(espresso does that) over to the ticket window, I dish out the 5 bones(15 for the day. Wired, I can't hang in AWA for 13 hours) and step into the show.

Valley Christian vs. Scottsdale Christian, 10am.

I immediately notice all the fans are on one side. Wow, I guess that "Victory with honor" the AIA is pumpin is really working!
Going into the game, I felt this would be a blow out, not because SC did not belong, but VC is in my mind, the best TEAM in the State. Hang on, I know they can't compete with the Highland's or Marcos de Niza's. But as far as each player knowing their role, and executing the system, no other does it better!

The first 8 minutes, super soph Alex Rogers, of SC kept the game close, but it was only a matter of time, as VC's Jr. post, Tim Kruge took over scoring 10 second quarter points, and stretched the lead at half, 33-17.

Kruge, who has received all the hype, is a solid player, and no doubt will bloom into a great player next year. But 5'11" PG, Kyle Brown is the man. Playing with confidence, street savy, and skillz, this kid is the reason VC won it. Running the point, and displaying bit time court vision, Brown makes everyone better. Coach Haags did a fantastic job with this crew, and should be commended for molding VC into a Champion.

After finishing off SC 67-39, the celebration began. VC donned Crowns, as they cut down the nets, and so what if they looked like Burger King. Like the saying goes, "They can have it their way"! Congrats VC, and we expect a run for 2 in a row in 2003!

*Hungry and coming down from the espresso, I headed over to get my hot dog and a diet coke. After hearing repeated thank you after thank you over the loud speaker, from the AIA to Jerry Colaneglo. I wondered if I should thank him for only charging $9.25 for the dog and drink? Knowing the event was for High School students, you would think the Arena could give the High School fans a break. But no, I spent 28 bucks.

Thatcher vs. St Johns. Noon, 2A Women

Knowing little about 2A women, I actually wanted Thatcher to win it, after the agony of PG Trisha Seale, and the flak jacket worn to protect the injury sustained last week. Looking like a fullback, her presence on the court, was sure an inspiration to her teammates as well as the fans.
Thatcher won their second in a row, 48-39.

*Really coming down from my high wire espresso, I walked out of the Arena, costing me another $5 just to get my espresso fix, and get some fresh air, as I prepare for the 3A Men's championship!

Wondering what seems to be missing today, in what is the biggest day of AZPrep hoops. First and foremost, WHY ARE THE BASKETS LOWERED TO CUT DOWN THE NETS? Come on now, is it safety, liability, the weight of the ladder? The scene of a player, standing high over the crowd, waving the net as fans and teammates cheer, ending with the Head Coach, is something a Champion should experience.

Coolidge vs Globe, 2pm 3A Men

Excited to see the Bears for the first time, I along with most, expected Coolidge to run away with it. But, Globe had other ideas.

After seeing Globe in the semi, and their street flav ball, I expected Coolidge to run away with it after the first 8 minutes. But behind the play of #31 Jr. Clark Bennett, and the attitude of big man, #51 Jr. 6'4" Jacob Tomerlin, the Tigers held tough, and led at half 20-16.

Coolidge, behind the play of #42, Kyle Miguel, took the lead, after the 3rd, and heading into the last 4 minutes of the 4th. Coolidge star, Randy Youtsey was held in check, earning his 15 the hard way, but the story was Miguel, with key baskets and the play of the game, a steal with 6 seconds left that gave the Bears the 3 pt. lead.

With Globe returning five key players, look for the tigers to return next year, with better shot selection, and more experience, they could be the ones dancin at center court.

Coach Dave Glascow of Coolidge has gone 62-2 the last two years! Can someone say "Rising Star"? Knowing he is loyal to his players and Assistants, inticing him to leave would be difficult, but any Athletic Director who wants a first class, winning program, give Dave a call. You will be looked at as a genius, trust me, this guy can COACH!

*As I stood up to stretch, I noticed the lower level of AWA was filled. Wow, Tuba City in town baybeee, and this next game I have a sentimental favorite! Tuba City Star, Jayme Lomakema, has really done a great job with her "Lomakema Report" on Sunday Night Rap! What I hear, she spends all day Sunday getting ready, and we here at want to thank her for all her time and hard work. So obviously, Coach T is pumped for the next game…

Tuba City vs Seton, 4pm, 3A Women.

After spending 2 weekends up on the Rez, over the season, I really came to understand why the North teams have dominated over the years. Basketball is #1. Socially, physically, emotionally, and most important competitively! These kids play, and play, and play. The High School stars are idols, and role models and teachers of these young ballers.

Think about it, 5000 at every home game, and those of you who witnessed yesterday. Unbelievable! The support, and loyalty to the teams, if matched in the city, would make Arizona equal to Indiana as far as fan support.

Tuba City came out playing typical TC ball, pick and role after pick and role! I saw more fundamental basketball in this game, that I have seen in 30 games in the City. You saw it, you cheered when these women threaded the needle for a score. Impressive wasn't it? The trappin defense on Setons three 6 footers. Behind Lomakema and "Coco" Tsingine, the Warriors blew out to a 21-8 halftime lead.

Not ready to play the second half, Seton fought back, and Tuba City only led by 9 after the 3rd. But the two TC stars got em back on track, and went on to win it 42-32.

Three in a row! For some TC players, 3 State Championships themselves. Can you believe that, 3! With two different Coaches as well. What does that tell ya, that they have a grass roots system that is equal too none in the State. And with the returning players, look for four in a row.

Congrats Tuba City, and especially Jayme Lomakema, you are a three time Champion, something most of us will never experience!

*As the crowd left, and the buzz began for the Men's 5A final, I noticed the difference in attitudes, Highland more relaxed and cool, Marcos buzzin with excitement! Everyone in AWA, including moi, expect Highland to win it. With that, I walked out the door (another $5) to get some air, and that last espresso shot for the Highland Hawk show, and my victory in the trny pool).

Highland vs. Marcos de Niza, 5A Men 6pm.

The first 2 minutes set the tone, Marcos came to play, and the Highland Hawks were not going to stop them.

Congrats Coach Dave Stark, and great coaching move, getting your "Secret Weapon" some minutes during your run. Like I said after the Desert Mountain game, LJ Jones could lead you to the ring, and he did!

I'll hold off on the breakdown, knowing's Scott has done it, but a few thoughts:

Paul Mohr is one of the best five players in the State.
Jon Ziri will be….
Super Soph Dubios Williams will be...
Mr. Jones,has a great future in Basketball…..
Coach Dave Stark is the Coach of the Year.
Lee Hall had a great, "No Props" season, but this site noticed.
Rusty Funk, helped win it, even though he sat with a leg injury…
Marcos de Niza will win it again within the next 2 years……

*With that, I want to thank everyone for help making our first year a successful one. I hope we have been able to bring AZPrep hoops to a new level, and keeping you informed on the 411 around the State. Even though the season is over, we are just beginning. We will continue to provide full coverage of all Spring/Summer/Fall AZPrep hoops, with scores, teams, and stats from tournaments around the State.
Our "Sunday Night Rap" broadcast will be year round, so be sure to tune in for the latest in AZPrep hoops. We will continue to improve our coverage, and next fall, will be at full strength! We welcome comments, so be sure to e-mail me at to give us your input.

Congratulations to all the Champions, and remember, is in da house!

Coach T

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