BASKETBALL: Aaliyah Ortiz solidifies her spot in Palo Verde history

Aaliyah Ortiz (Andy Morales/

Palo Verde senior guard Aaliyah Ortiz passed the 1,500 career-scoring mark Thursday night to help lead the Titans past Walden Grove 45-33. The win keeps the Titans in the hunt for a 4A Play-In berth with one game left on the schedule.

Palo Verde went into the game ranked No. 19 in the 4A Conference which matches the ranking of the last Palo Verde playoff team from 2014-15. That team made it to the quarterfinal round but that was followed up a No. 32 finish a year later, a No. 35 finish in 2017 and a No. 39 finish last year.

Ortiz joins former Titans Sydni Stallworth (2015), Alicia Jones (2012) and Darian Saunders (2012) as some of the best to come out of the school in recent memory.



Ximena Iniguez, Sr. Douglas 970 (missing stats)
Emma Blunk, Sr. Desert Christian 966 (projected playoffs)

Evan Nelson, Jr. Mountain View/Salpointe 902 (projected deep playoffs)


Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014 and he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017 and he 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 Andy is the Southern Arizona voting member of the Ed Doherty Award, recognizing the top football player in Arizona, and he was named a Local Hero by the Tucson Weekly for 2016. Contact Andy Morales at


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