We will be previewing the winter sport season over the next couple of weeks or so and the responses you see below come directly from the coaches who returned a questionnaire. As you will see, the winter season is comprised of soccer, wrestling and basketball. All three sports deserve equal attention.
We are proud that our site is the only one in Southern Arizona that covered (and is still covering) cross country, swim and dive, small-school soccer, golf, volleyball and football during the fall season. We’ve been covering both boys and girls in programs from the 6A Conference to the 1A Conference.
CANYON DEL ORO GIRLS BASKETBALL
Head coach: Kent Senzee
2015-16 record: 17-11
Finish: D-II first round
Three returning starters (seniors):
PG – Brenna Rankin (Four-year varsity player)
G – Chelsey Murphy (Took third and fourth in State in two hurdle events in track)
G – Leila El-Ali (Was in the top seven in four categories in State last year: steals, 3-pointers, scoring average and number of made baskets.
“We have a good mixture of talent with four seniors, four juniors and three sophomores (very talented sophomore class). The toughest part of our schedule is in Nov/Dec. If we can go 5-3 then we are in good shape.”
AMPHITHEATER BOYS BASKETBALL
Head coach: Ben Hurley
2015-16 record: 8-19
Top returning players:
Kairee Doty, Senior, PG. Third year as a varsity starter.
Kerry Wilson, Senior, Forward. Third-year varsity player. Ave 8 pts and 6 rebs.
Cohen Kimmel, Soph, PG. Shot 41% from 3-pt line as a freshman on varsity last year.
Isiah Ingram, Junior, Guard. Shot 38% from 3-pt line as a sophomore starter on varsity last year.
Top new players:
Jackson (Ajak) Ruai, Soph, Guard.
Matthew Jose, Soph, Guard.
BUENA GIRLS BASKETBALL
Head coach: Calvin Cole
2015-16 record: 0-26
Lauryn was the team’s starting guard who plays the bulk of our minutes, Lauryn is able to play multiple positions. Lauryn is coming off a season in which she received All-Division 2nd team for the Division II section.
Romo received honorable mention from last year’s Division II section. She was also another player who we relied on for heavy minutes. Romo was only a sophomore last year so having her back is a huge too. Having her able to play multiple positions will create some match-up problems this year.
Returning from injuries:
Shay had a hay hook go through the middle of her foot two days before our first game last year. Shay returned for the last couple games but never was able to get in the shape she needed to contribute. Shay will look to have a big year this year as she will play almost every position on the floor at some point. Shay is only a Junior.
Sabrina was our starting point guard her freshman year and then tore her PCL during a volleyball open gym her freshman year, this injury caused her to miss the entire sophomore year. Sabrina is a natural leader who is tough and plays with a great amount of energy. She is going to make sure the other team has to work for everything they get. Sabrina is only a junior.
These two players I am going to speak of are freshmen. First is Astrid Galvez, who is most likely going to be the most athletic player on the floor every night. Astrid is lighting quick with her feet and her hands, having only played two years of middle school basketball her ceiling is very high.
Next, Jaslynn Booker, a 5-foot-10 freshman who plays with the physicality of a senior. Once again, she will be one of the more athletic players on the floor at every game. Look for Booker to play a role in protection of the rim this year, something we did not have last year.
“Last year was year in which we started over from scratch. We had players who were still learning how to dribble the ball must less dribble at a high rate through traffic. This year we have added a few new kids and gain some players from injuries. I would hope to look back after the season and say “my team played hard, did not give up on each other and were competitive in every game.”
BENSON BOYS BASKETBALL
Head coach: Bobby Inglhofer
2015-16 results: 10-14
We are only returning five varsity players this year. Alex Hernandez (Senior), Jason Fletcher (Junior), Cade Curtis (Senior), Ethan Roberts (Senior) and Nick Judd (Junior) will all hopefully help lead our team in the upcoming season.
As of right now, we do not have any new athletes coming into the program, but we are looking to continue to develop the athletes that we have retained in the program.
“For this year we are looking to build on a season that came up short of expectations, by creating a family atmosphere devoted to hard work. Also, we are hoping to turn that hard work and effort into the first playoff berth in three years.”
BUENA BOYS BASKETBALL
Head coach: Dave Glasgow
2015-16 results: 19-9
Top returning players
Grant Ward, Kino Bellinger, Dominic Mooney, and David Featherston.
Top new players
Traijan Powell, Quayshawn Lasua-Gentry, Cyrus Thomas, and Devin Powell.
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 and on AZPreps365.com. Contact Andy Morales at AMoralesMyTucson@yahoo.com