Many young players appear ready to enhance the girls basketball competition in Southern Arizona over the next year or two.
Reilly Clark, a 5-foot-10 sophomore at Catalina Foothills, is one of them.
Clark ranks in the top 10 in Southern Arizona in scoring (21.3 points per game) and rebounds (9.4 a game).
She is a significant reason why the decimated Falcons (5-6) are making a return trip to the 5A state playoffs. They are the No. 15 seed facing the tough task of playing at No. 2 Verrado (15-1) on Tuesday night.
Katie Burns, another sophomore, is one of Southern Arizona’s top assist players with 5.3 a game.
“I loved the way the team fought hard this year with all the adversity they was faced with during this pandemic,” first-year coach Eric Nelson said. “We had seven players that did not play this season due to their concerns of the virus, which I fully respected their decisions.
“The players played hard regardless of the situation and never gave up. I loved their tenacity and determination to give it their all even though they knew that we were undermanned.”
TUESDAY, MARCH 9
3A-6A GIRLS BASKETBALL FIRST ROUND
(3A) No. 15 Sabino at No. 2 Snowflake, 7 p.m.
(4A) No. 15 Desert Edge at No. 2 Salpointe, 7 p.m.
(4A) No. 14 Thunderbird at No. 3 Sahuaro, 7 p.m.
(4A) No. 10 Pueblo at No. 3 Deer Valley, 7 p.m.
(5A) No. 12 Canyon View at No. 5 Flowing Wells, 7 p.m.
(5A) No. 9 Sunnyside at No. 8 Gilbert, 7 p.m.
(5A) No. 14 Cienega at No. 3 Millennium, 7 p.m.
(5A) No. 15 Catalina Foothills at No. 2 Verrado, 7 p.m.
(6A) No. 10 Rincon/UHS at No. 7 Highland, 7 p.m.
(6A) No. 14 Tucson at No. 3 Xavier Prep, 7 p.m.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 10
1A GIRLS BASKETBALL QUARTERFINAL
No. 7 St. David at No. 2 Fort Thomas, 6 p.m.
2A GIRLS BASKETBALL FIRST ROUND
No. 11 Scottsdale Christian at No. 6 Benson, 5 p.m.
Southern Arizona Girls Basketball Scoring LeadersSource: Maxpreps (Stats provided by coach or statistician)
|Reilly Clark||Catalina Foothills||Soph.||G||9||192||21.3|
|Aubrey Encinas||San Manuel||Jr.||G||13||265||20.4|
|April Martinez||Rio Rico||Sr.||G||10||203||20.3|
|Ryan Gilvin||Walden Grove||Sr.||F||12||214||17.8|
|MiLinda Arguellez||Flowing Wells||Sr.||G||15||242||16.1|
Southern Arizona Girls Basketball Rebounding LeadersSource: MaxPreps (Stats provided by coach or team statistician)
|Ryan Gilvin||Walden Grove||Sr.||F||12||219||18.3|
|Navine Mallon||Flowing Wells||Soph.||F||15||204||13.6|
|Aubrey Encinas||San Manuel||Jr.||F||13||135||10.4|
|Molly Garnand||Pusch Ridge||Soph.||F||15||153||10.2|
|Reilly Clark||Catalina Foothills||Soph.||G||9||84||9.4|
Southern Arizona Girls Basketball Assist LeadersSource: MaxPreps (Stats provided coach or team statistician)
|Victoria Zazuete||San Manuel||Sr.||G||13||100||7.7|
|Katie Burns||Catalina Foothills||Soph.||G||9||48||5.3|
|Leamsi Acuna||Flowing Wells||Soph.||G||15||63||4.2|
|Kiana Ortiz||Palo Verde||Sr.||G||10||38||3.8|
|MiLinda Arguellez||Flowing Wells||Sr.||G||15||55||3.7|
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.