Basketball

Alexis Cortez signs with East Carolina, is set to break 2,000 points


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Alexis Cortez signs with her mom by her side (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Alexis Cortez signs with her mom by her side (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

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Tucson High senior Alexis Cortez finished second in the state last year with 731 points and 25.2 points per game. She is on track to break into the top five ever in the state of Arizona if she continues on her current scoring pace.

Cortez is sitting at 1,714 career points right now. The top five scorers are all above 2,400. Former Catalina Foothills standout Julie Brase is tops with 2,913 career points.

Sahuaro senior Sydney Harden is at 1,315 career points and should break 1,500 with an outside shot at 2,000. Nogales senior Czarina Lorta has 848 career points and could easily join the 1,000 point club.

Tanque Verde senior Hailey Goley is at 658 and could break 1,000 by season’s end. Pueblo junior Araceli Loya is at 555 career points and Sahuaro junior Elena Arriaga has an outside shot at 1,000 with 501 career points.

Cortez signed with East Carolina on Sunday afternoon in a celebration in front of family and friends along with former and current team members.

She is part of the recruiting class that included North Carolina point guard Dominique Claytor, Georgia forward Raven Johnson and 6-foot-2 forward/center transfer Thais Oliveira.

Cortez is part of the Pirates first-ever top 50 recruiting class according to the school.

“Alexis is a prolific scorer,” head coach Heather Macy said in a news release. “She will allow us to stretch the floor with her ability to shoot the ball from long range, while her instincts and skill set will translate immediately. Coach (Annette) Gutierrez played a huge role in Alexis’ development. Her family’s support is an integral part of her success and growth as a person and I’m looking forward to helping her continue to excel.”

Cortez was on the same recruiting visit as a couple of the other recruits and that played a huge factor in her decision to sign with the Pirates.

“I was there with Dominique and Raven and I saw who my guard would be and it was exciting,” Cortez said. “It will all be part of a great experience for me.”

“This means a lot to my family and I am doing this for them and for everyone who believed in me,” she added.

Five players are set to graduate and East Carolina will have eight seniors next year when Cortez is a freshman. From there, she is expected to play small forward and shooting guard.

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Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014 and has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. His own children have won multiple state high school championships and were named to all-state teams. Competing in hockey, basketball, baseball and track & field in high school, his unique perspective can only be found here, on AZPreps365.com and on the pages of the Vail Voice and the Tanque Verde Voice. Contact Andy Morales at AMoralesMyTucson@yahoo.com

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