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District rivals Desert View, Sunnyside ranked in 5A top 10 highlights local rankings


The Open Division and 4A through 6A power ratings are out for the first time, and the biggest development is Desert View ranked No. 6 in the Open Division with a 5-0 start.

A total of 15 schools from Southern Arizona are rated in the top 20 from the Open Division to 1A:

Open Division

  • Open: Top eight teams from 4A-6A conferences

6A, 5A, 4A (16-team bracket): In order to qualify, a school must have played a minimum of six (6) games. After qualifying teams are added to the Open Division state tournament bracket and removed from the conference rankings (if applicable), remaining teams will be re-seeded No. 1 through No. 16 and will make up the state tournament brackets. The state tournament brackets will be seeded according to the overall AIA rankings powered by MaxPreps. The state tournaments will consist of four rounds and be single elimination.

  1. Chandler (6-0)
  2. Hamilton (6-0)
  3. Queen Creek (5-0)
  4. Cactus (6-0)
  5. Basha (6-0)
  6. Desert View (5-0)
  7. Horizon (5-0)
  8. ALA – Queen Creek (5-1)

6A, 5A, 4A: Teams ranked 1-16 following selection of Open Division participants:

5A

  1. Desert View (5-0)
  2. Horizon (5-0)
  3. Verrado (4-1)
  4. Saguaro (4-1)
  5. Desert Mountain (4-1)

8. Salpointe Catholic (3-2)

10. Sunnyside (4-1)

12. Marana (4-1)

NOTES: The Sunnyside Unified School District high schools — No. 1 Desert View and No. 10 Sunnyside — are ranked in the top of the 5A ratings. Desert View defeated Sunnyside 29-21 in the season opener for both teams that went down to the last minute. .. Sunnyside and No. 12 Marana meet Friday at Marana in one of the most significant games of the week other than No. 8 Salpointe Catholic (3-2) playing at Desert View. The Jaguars will try to match their best start of 6-0 (achieved in 2016) in school history while Salpointe will attempt to avoid a three-game losing streak for the first time since 2015 when the Lancers finished 5-5.

Sunnyside Unified School District neighborhood rivals Desert View and Sunnyside are both rated in the top 10 of the 5A power rankings (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

4A

  1. Cactus (6-0)
  2. ALA – Queen Creek (5-1)
  3. Coconino (3-0)
  4. Casa Grande (5-0)
  5. Poston Butte (4-2)

17. Amphi (3-1)

20. Canyon del Oro (3-3)

NOTES: No. 17 Amphi and No. 20 Canyon del Oro have to string together wins to put themselves in a better position to qualify for the top 16 spots (after the Open Division) in the state playoffs. The Panthers, who featured all-region running back candidate Kiko Trejo, have only played four games because of a bye week and a postponement of a game because of COVID-19 protocol. … CDO, which plays only four seniors extensively, has won three straight games after an 0-3 start and the Dorados have gained talented sophomore transfers Kayden Luke at running back and Chance Cassell at receiver and defensive back.

3A

(16-team state tournament bracket) In order to qualify, a school must have played a minimum of six (6) games. Based on region standings, the top team in each region will earn an automatic bid to the state tournament. Remaining teams will be added to the state tournament bracket based on AIA rankings powered by MaxPreps. The 16 teams will be seeded according to AIA rankings. 3A Conference leadership reserves the right to evaluate state tournament participants and bracket seeding based on analytical data. The state tournament will consist of four rounds and be single elimination.

  • 3A: Seven (7) automatic bids and nine (9) at-large qualifiers based on ranking
  1. Valley Christian (7-0)
  2. Round Valley (7-0)
  3. River Valley (7-0)
  4. Snowflake (6-1)
  5. ALA – Gilbert North (6-1)

11. Sabino (5-2)

12. Pusch Ridge (5-2)

NOTES: The 3A South teams continue to be overlooked in these power ratings even though No. 8 Thatcher, No. 9 Safford, No. 11 Sabino and No. 12 Pusch Ridge deserve to be in the 3A state playoffs. … Sabino’s coaches were expecting a jump to close to No. 5 after Friday’s win over Pusch Ridge but the Sabercats moved up only two spots to No. 11. The top nine rated teams in 3A after the seven region champs qualify for the playoffs. … Sabino hosts Tanque Verde, ranked No. 14 in the 2A poll at 4-3, this Friday while Pusch Ridge faces the daunting task of playing at Safford.

2A

(16-team state tournament bracket): In order to qualify, a school must have played a minimum of six (6) games. Based on region standings, the top team in each region will earn an automatic bid to the state tournament. The state tournament bracket will be seeded according to the overall AIA rankings powered by MaxPreps of the 16 teams. The state tournament will consist of four rounds and be single elimination.

  • 2A: Nine (9) automatic bids and seven (7) at-large qualifiers based on ranking
  1. Parker (6-0)
  2. Arizona Lutheran (6-1)
  3. Morenci (6-1)
  4. Gilbert Christian (5-2)
  5. Willcox (6-0)

8. Benson (4-2)

14. Tanque Verde (4-3)

NOTES: Willcox, coached by former Arizona player Eric Hjalmarson, moved up two spots to No. 5 despite not playing a game last week because of COVID-19 protocol. The Cowboys host Bisbee in a rare Saturday night game at Willcox this week. … No. 8 Benson, which plays at Willcox in a much-anticipated game to end the season Oct. 29, plays at No. 3 Morenci this Friday. … Tanque Verde, also coached by an Arizona alum, Jay Dobyns, travels to Sabino for a non-region game that will help the Hawks in power points.

1A

(12-team state tournament bracket): In order to qualify, a school must have played a minimum of four (4) games. Based on region standings, the top team in each region will earn an automatic bid to the state tournament. Remaining teams will be added to the state tournament bracket based on AIA rankings powered by MaxPreps. The 12 teams will be seeded according to AIA rankings. Teams seeded Nos. 1-4 will receive first-round byes. 1A Conference leadership reserves the right to evaluate state tournament participants and bracket seeding based on cancellations, head-to-head and common opponents, and may adjust seeding accordingly. The state tournament will consist of four rounds and be single elimination.

1A: Four (4) automatic bids and eight (8) at-large qualifers based on ranking

  1. Mogollon (8-0)
  2. Mohave Accelerated (6-0)
  3. St. David (7-1)
  4. Williams (6-2)
  5. El Capitan (5-2)

6. San Manuel (6-1)

10. Valley Union (4-3)

15. Baboquivari (2-3)

NOTES: St. David has already clinched the 1A South title and automatic berth into the state playoffs. … No. 6 San Manuel can strengthen its seed in the 1A state playoffs playing at No. 15 Baboquivari this Friday. … No. 10 Valley Union faces a must-win situation against Duncan at home this Friday to strengthen its bid to make the state playoffs as an at-large team..


Nine schools from 1A to 3A are ranked in the top 20 in the first power rankings released by the Arizona Interscholastic Association on Tuesday morning.

The 4A, 5A, 6A and Open Division rankings will be released for the first time on Oct. 12.

The top five of each classification with the Southern Arizona teams that are ranked in 1A-3A are in bold:

3A

(16-team state tournament bracket) In order to qualify, a school must have played a minimum of six (6) games. Based on region standings, the top team in each region will earn an automatic bid to the state tournament. Remaining teams will be added to the state tournament bracket based on AIA rankings powered by MaxPreps. The 16 teams will be seeded according to AIA rankings. 3A Conference leadership reserves the right to evaluate state tournament participants and bracket seeding based on analytical data. The state tournament will consist of four rounds and be single elimination.

  • 3A: Seven (7) automatic bids and nine (9) at-large qualifiers based on ranking
  1. Valley Christian (5-0)

2. ALA-Gilbert North (5-0)

3. Round Valley (5-0)

4. River Valley (5-0)

5. Safford (5-0)

10. Pusch Ridge (4-1)

12. Sabino (3-2)

Tough rankings for both Pusch Ridge and Sabino, who have lost to quality opponents. Pusch Ridge was defeated last Friday by defending 3A champion Snowflake, which is ranked No. 7. Sabino lost to No. 2 ALA-Gilbert North and at Thatcher, which is ranked No. 9. Safford is the highest rated 3A South team at No. 5 with a 5-0 record. Pusch Ridge plays at Sabino on Oct. 8 and at Safford on Oct. 15. Sabino hosts Safford on Oct. 22. Pusch Ridge hosts Thatcher on Oct. 22 and Safford concludes the regular season hosting Thatcher Oct. 19. The last four weeks of the season in the 3A South should be amazing.

2A

(16-team state tournament bracket): In order to qualify, a school must have played a minimum of six (6) games. Based on region standings, the top team in each region will earn an automatic bid to the state tournament. The state tournament bracket will be seeded according to the overall AIA rankings powered by MaxPreps of the 16 teams. The state tournament will consist of four rounds and be single elimination.

  • 2A: Nine (9) automatic bids and seven (7) at-large qualifiers based on ranking
  1. Parker (4-0)

2. Arizona Lutheran (5-0)

3. Benson (4-1)

4. Gilbert Christian (3-2)

5. Morenci (4-1)

7. Willcox (5-0)

16. Tanque Verde (3-2)

19. Bisbee (3-2)

20. Santa Cruz (2-3)

WIllcox’s ranking being unbeaten for the first time in 10 years is low, especially with Gilbert Christian ranked No. 4 with a 3-2 record. The Cowboys’ five opponents to this point are a combined 4-19, which likely has kept them out of the top five. No. 3 Benson continues to roll after returning all of its players from last year’s team that reached the 2A state title game. Santa Cruz won that championship game but is now 2-3. The three losses, however, have been by a combined total of only eight points. Jay Dobyns’ team is ranked in the top 10 at No. 16 only two years into his tenure. When he was hired before the 2020 season, Tanque Verde was on a 15-game losing streak.

1A

(12-team state tournament bracket): In order to qualify, a school must have played a minimum of four (4) games. Based on region standings, the top team in each region will earn an automatic bid to the state tournament. Remaining teams will be added to the state tournament bracket based on AIA rankings powered by MaxPreps. The 12 teams will be seeded according to AIA rankings. Teams seeded Nos. 1-4 will receive first-round byes. 1A Conference leadership reserves the right to evaluate state tournament participants and bracket seeding based on cancellations, head-to-head and common opponents, and may adjust seeding accordingly. The state tournament will consist of four rounds and be single elimination.

1A: Four (4) automatic bids and eight (8) at-large qualifers based on ranking

  1. Mogollon (6-0)

2. Mohave Accelerated (4-0)

3. San Manuel (5-0)

4. Williams (5-1)

5. St. David (4-1)

12. Valley Union (2-3)

14. Baboquivari (2-1)

St. David hosts Baboquivari tonight in a tough 1A South matchup and then the Tigers have a quick turnaround, traveling to San Manuel on Friday for what could be the game that decides the region championship. San Manuel, which is 5-0 for the first time since 2011, concludes the regular season at Baboquivari on Oct. 15.

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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. He became an educator five years ago and is presently a special education teacher at Gallego Fine Arts Intermediate in the Sunnyside Unified School District

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