DESERT CHRISTIAN GIRLS ON WIN STREAK
As we wind down the regular season and head into February Frenzy, there are still a few players out there reaching important scoring milestones including Desert Christian senior Emma Blunk. Blunk came into her senior season with only 525 points to her name, in two years of work, and it was uncertain if she would be able to almost double that number to reach 1,000 in her last year but she reached that goal on the final day of the regular season by scoring 17 points to lead the Eagles past Valley Union 59-27.
One of my favorite players, Desert Christian senior Emma Blunk, with a rebound from the top of the key and put back to break 1,000 career points. Sorry i was at wrestling sectionals and missed this @DCSAZ thanks Lori Tucker for saving the day with this video!!! pic.twitter.com/MZZyCc7vB5
Blunk has 1,005 career points and, more importantly, her team is now 18-8 (12-4 in power-ranking games) on the year and ranked No. 12 in the 2A Conference. The Eagles also claimed the second automatic playoff berth from the 2A South Region thanks to a better conference record than Globe. The Eagles are on an eight game win streak and this is the highest the team has been ranked since 2016 when the team went into the playoffs ranked No. 9.
DOUGLAS SENIOR PASSES 1,000 POINTS
Douglas senior Ximena Iniguez is now at 1,007 career points after scoring eight points Tuesday in Douglas’ win over visiting Palo Verde. Iniguez was given a hoodie with her accomplishment. She is also very successful in the classroom, earning an academic scholarship to ASU.
NICO MANNION CLOSING IN ON 2,000
University of Arizona commit Nico Mannion has 1,928 career points at Pinnacle (22-3). The reclassified senior might break 2,000 career points but it will be close. Had Mannion decided to play next year, there is little doubt he would have been the fourth player in Arizona history to break 3,000 career points.
Mannion’s total was boosted by 57 points against Chaparral in a 91-88 victory with Mannion hitting a game-winner at the buzzer.
The Pioneers are the top-ranked team in the 6A Conference and the Pioneers will travel to No. 28 Boulder Creek (8-16) on Tuesday to end the regular season. The 6A First Round is scheduled for Feb. 14.
NELSON & CLARK CUTTING IT CLOSE
Salpointe junior Evan Nelson has 925 career point and Pusch Ridge senior Jared Clark has 903. Both standouts need a few playoff games to break 1,000, although Nelson still has another year left.
Salpointe (23-2) is currently No. 43 in the 4A Conference with two games left in the regular season and Pusch Ridge (21-4) is ranked No. 5 in the 3A Conference with two games left before the playoffs start.
BOYS REGION CHAMPIONSHIPS
Cienega (7-2) can win the 5A Southern Region outright with a win over Ironwood Ridge (5-4) on Tuesday. Nogales (6-3) needs to beat Marana (4-5) and hope for a Cienega loss to claim a piece of the region title.
Cholla (9-0) has already claimed the 5A Sonoran title.
Amphitheater (8-1) can claim the 4A Gila Region outright with a win over Walden Grove (4-5) on Tuesday. Palo Verde (7-2) needs to beat Douglas (2-7) and hope for a Panther loss for a share of the title.
Salpointe (8-1) and Catalina Foothills (8-1) are sharing the 4A Kino title but the Falcons till have a game at Sahuaro (6-3) to play while the Lancers are traveling to Vista Grande (1-8)
Pusch Ridge (7-1) controls their own destiny with two games left in the 3A South with Tanque Verde (0-8) and Safford (4-4) remaining on their schedule. Sabino (6-2) has Catalina (4-4) and Tanque Verde left.
The Gregory School claimed the 1A South Region at 9-0 but the region also has a section tournament scheduled for Wednesday.
GIRLS REGION CHAMPIONSHIPS
Tucson (9-0) claimed the 6A Metro Region.
Buena (8-1) and Marana (8-1) share the 5A Southern Region with one game left for each squad. Buena has Sunnyside (4-5) and Marana (4-5).
Rincon/University (7-2) is in control of the 5A Sonoran with a big game at Cholla (6-3) scheduled for Tuesday night. Cholla needs to win to force a share of the title.
Pueblo (9-0) has at least a share of the 4A Gila Region but Rio Rico (8-1) needs to win on Tuesday to force a tie,
Sahuaro (8-1) and Salpointe (8-1) are battling it out in the 4A Kino Region but Sahuaro still has a date at Catalina Foothills (5-4) and Salpointe host Vista Grande (0-9).
The 3A South is a blender with Pusch Ridge (6-2) and Tanque Verde (6-2) playing each other on Tuesday. Safford (5-3) and Sabino (5-3) are still in the mix.
Baboquivari (10-0) claimed the 1A South with the section tournament coming up on Wednesday at ASDB.
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 AZPreps365.com. 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