Sports

Tue
03
Mar
Shane McOwen's picture

Lady Tigers come up short

ADRIANA ZELAYA, 1, of Millennium dribbles past Dobson’s Vernajah Jones during Monday’s Division I state championship at Gila River Arena. The Lady Tigers led most of the game, but lost 58-49. View photos by David Weibel
ADRIANA ZELAYA, 1, of Millennium dribbles past Dobson’s Vernajah Jones during Monday’s Division I state championship at Gila River Arena. The Lady Tigers led most of the game, but lost 58-49. View photos by David Weibel

4th quarter dooms Millennium in D-I final

Millennium’s girls basketball team came one quarter short of a storybook ending, as the Lady Tigers lost their lead in the final frame and fell to Mesa Dobson, 58-49, in the Division I state tournament final at Gila River Arena in Glendale Monday.

Tue
03
Mar
Shane McOwen's picture

Senior-heavy Tigers poised for strong season

CHAZ MIGHELLS, left, of Millennium receives a throw at second base as Tolleson’s Billy Wilson slides in during a game last year. Mighells, who batted .432 last season, is one of 12 returning seniors for the Tigers in 2015.
CHAZ MIGHELLS, left, of Millennium receives a throw at second base as Tolleson’s Billy Wilson slides in during a game last year. Mighells, who batted .432 last season, is one of 12 returning seniors for the Tigers in 2015.

A year ago, the Millennium Tigers baseball team bowed out in the first round of the single elimination portion of the state tournament to Mesa Mountain View, 6-1. This season, the veteran-heavy team will look to improve on a 16-12 record and be poised to make it back to the tournament and do some damage.

The Tigers will field 12 returning seniors on this year’s squad.

“We’ll lean on them all a little bit,” Millennium coach Ryan Bethel said.

The team’s catcher, Jared McDonald, will return behind the plate. McDonald led the Tigers in hits (36) and average (.444), and was tied for second on the team in doubles (6).

“Leadership-wise, Jared McDonald will fill [that role],” Bethel said.

McDonald has already signed on to play at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix next year.

Third-baseman Andrew Diggs has also come into the season emerging as a team leader, Bethel said.

Tue
03
Mar
Shane McOwen's picture

Westview looks to build foundation in 2015

BRANDON BACCO of Westview follows through on a swing during the Knights’ game against San Luis Feb. 27. Westview went 0-4 during the season opening Laveen Baseball Classic.
BRANDON BACCO of Westview follows through on a swing during the Knights’ game against San Luis Feb. 27. Westview went 0-4 during the season opening Laveen Baseball Classic.

Westview’s start to the season has not been ideal, as the Knights dropped four games in the Laveen Baseball Classic by a combined score of 40-5.

The Knights are going to take some bumps early as the team tries to build a foundation for winning baseball, Westview coach John Irish said.

“We’re trying to put something together and get something going,” Irish said. “They’re dedicated and working hard, and we’re seeing small steps.”

The Knights haven’t won 10 games since the 2010 season, and won five games combined in the last two seasons.

“We’re starting on the ground floor, trying to get things done,” Irish said. “Trying to do the little things and not beat ourselves, type of deal.”

Irish said the team has a couple of hurlers who can throw hard, now it’s just a matter of finding consistency in mechanics and location.

Tue
03
Mar
Casey Pritchard's picture

Estrella baseball team has balanced roster

C.J. AVILES bats for Estrella Foothills last season. Aviles, the Wolves’ starting catcher, batted .366 with six doubles and 19 RBI last year.
C.J. AVILES bats for Estrella Foothills last season. Aviles, the Wolves’ starting catcher, batted .366 with six doubles and 19 RBI last year.
COLE HINZMANN throws a pitch for Estrella Foothills last season. Hinzmann won three games for the Wolves last year, including a complete-game shutout.
COLE HINZMANN throws a pitch for Estrella Foothills last season. Hinzmann won three games for the Wolves last year, including a complete-game shutout.

Estrella Foothills has seen plenty of success in recent baseball seasons, and this year’s team will try to continue that tradition.

“As always at Foothills, we’ve got good kids, kids who are working really, really hard and they’re starting to gel,” coach Patrick McCubbins said.

The Wolves have a balance to their roster with five seniors, five juniors, five sophomores and two freshmen.

“They’ve all really started to accept ownership and are working really hard and are getting excited about opening [this] week,” McCubbins said.

The Wolves haven’t had balance in their roster like this for a while, as the team was rather senior heavy in 2013 and 2014. Estrella had more balance in 2011 and 2012, the years it went to the state championship game.

Tue
03
Mar
Shane McOwen's picture

Lady Tigers punch ticket to state championship

RAINA PEREZ, 2, of Millennium lays the ball up while Desert Vista’s Tatum Brimley, 10, trails behind. The Lady Tigers upset top-seeded Desert Vista in the Division I semis, earning a berth in Monday’s championship game.
RAINA PEREZ, 2, of Millennium lays the ball up while Desert Vista’s Tatum Brimley, 10, trails behind. The Lady Tigers upset top-seeded Desert Vista in the Division I semis, earning a berth in Monday’s championship game.
QUYNNE HUGGINS, 11, of Millennium puts up a shot while being guarded by Desert Vista’s Toni Davis. Huggins led the Lady Tigers with 19 points, as they beat Desert Vista, 52-43, to advance to the state championship.
QUYNNE HUGGINS, 11, of Millennium puts up a shot while being guarded by Desert Vista’s Toni Davis. Huggins led the Lady Tigers with 19 points, as they beat Desert Vista, 52-43, to advance to the state championship.

The Millennium girls basketball team saved one of its best games of the year for the perfect time. The Lady Tigers took down top-seed Phoenix Desert Vista, 52-43, in the semifinals of the Division I playoffs Feb. 27 at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix.

The Lady Tigers moved on to face Mesa Dobson in the state final Monday. Results were unavailable at press time.

Millennium never trailed against Desert Vista, and led from the 5:23 mark of the first quarter when forward Wati Franklin hit a three pointer to break a 2-2 tie.

“I think the big message with the girls is there’s no mistake about it: it’s a big win,” Millennium coach Cory Rojeck said. “You beat the No. 1 team in state, but at the end of the day, you’ve got one more. You don’t set goals to win a semifinal game. It just so happened we played the No. 1 team in state and it was a big win, but we’ve got one more.”

Tue
03
Mar
Casey Pritchard's picture

Thanks for the lesson, Tennessee

A pair of Tennessee high school girls basketball teams have been justly banned from the state’s postseason competition, and in turn hopefully have taught a valuable lesson they missed the memo on the first time around.

Riverdale and Smyrna high schools each tried to lose, on purpose, to the other in a game Feb. 21 so that they could avoid the state’s powerhouse team, Blackman, in the regional tournament the following week.

According to reports on the game, it was obvious both teams were trying to lose. One team missed 12 of its 16 free-throw attempts on purpose, while the other would not cross the timeline before the 10-second violation occurred. Another player would stay in the key and motion to the referee to call a three-second violation on her. If that wasn’t enough, somebody attempted to score in the opposing team’s basket, which caused the officials to stop the game and talk to the coaches.

Fri
27
Feb
West Valley View's picture

Odds & Ends: February 27, 2015

Southwest Valley YMCA to host Arizona Swimming Senior State Championships

The Arizona Swimming Seniors State championships are taking place in Goodyear this weekend.

The Southwest Valley YMCA is hosting the event, which features former Olympians and NCAA national champions.

Fri
27
Feb
Casey Pritchard's picture

Estrella Foothills struggles, loses in quarters

JOE LOGAN, 22, of Estrella Foothills dribbles around Combs’ Carter Aby. Aby scored 29 points for the Coyotes, who knocked Estrella from the Division III state playoffs.
JOE LOGAN, 22, of Estrella Foothills dribbles around Combs’ Carter Aby. Aby scored 29 points for the Coyotes, who knocked Estrella from the Division III state playoffs.
TRACE JENKINS, left, of Estrella Foothills drives to the hoop as Combs’ Carter Aby trails behind. The Wolves lost the quarterfinal matchup at Gila River Arena, 56-34.
TRACE JENKINS, left, of Estrella Foothills drives to the hoop as Combs’ Carter Aby trails behind. The Wolves lost the quarterfinal matchup at Gila River Arena, 56-34.

Estrella Foothills won’t soon forget the name Carter Aby.

Combs’ 6-foot-7 center had a monster game against the Wolves in the Division III state quarterfinals Thursday morning at Gila River Arena in Glendale, as the fourth-seeded Coyotes beat No. 4 Estrella, 56-34.

Fri
27
Feb
Casey Pritchard's picture

Vipers look to build on playoff experience

BLAKE PERKINS of Verrado fires a pitch against Canyon del Oro in the state playoffs last May. Perkins, who batted .551 last season, is one of the key returnees for the Vipers.
BLAKE PERKINS of Verrado fires a pitch against Canyon del Oro in the state playoffs last May. Perkins, who batted .551 last season, is one of the key returnees for the Vipers.
JESUS AZUAJE of Verrado connects with a pitch against Westview in a game last season. The Vipers’ shortstop returns for his senior season after batting .453 with 33 RBI and 31 runs scored last year.
JESUS AZUAJE of Verrado connects with a pitch against Westview in a game last season. The Vipers’ shortstop returns for his senior season after batting .453 with 33 RBI and 31 runs scored last year.

Shortstop, center fielder return as core of team

Verrado’s baseball team won a playoff game for the first time in school history last season, and a pair of its most impactful players return in 2015. It’s a recipe that could lead to a successful year for the Vipers.

Fri
27
Feb
Shane McOwen's picture

Millennium roars into semifinals

RAINA PEREZ, right, of Millennium uses her right arm to fend off Valley Vista’s Jada Willingham during the Division I state quarterfinals Wednesday at Grand Canyon University. The Lady Tigers won 45-31 to advance to today’s state semis against Desert Vista.
RAINA PEREZ, right, of Millennium uses her right arm to fend off Valley Vista’s Jada Willingham during the Division I state quarterfinals Wednesday at Grand Canyon University. The Lady Tigers won 45-31 to advance to today’s state semis against Desert Vista.
ADRIANA ZELAYA, 1, of Millennium posts up against a Valley Vista defender in Wednesday’s Division I state quarterfinals. Zelaya played strong defense to help lead the Lady Tigers to a 45-31 victory.
ADRIANA ZELAYA, 1, of Millennium posts up against a Valley Vista defender in Wednesday’s Division I state quarterfinals. Zelaya played strong defense to help lead the Lady Tigers to a 45-31 victory.

Lady Tigers drub Valley Vista in state quarterfinals, 45-31

Millennium relied on its team’s strongest aspect, defense, yet again this season to dispose of Surprise Valley Vista in the quarterfinals of the Division I girls basketball state tournament Wednesday, winning 45-31 at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix.

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