It was an upset on paper but the divide between No. 11 Canyon del Oro and No. 22 Pueblo was much closer than the computers calculated and that was evident based on a 68-53 win by the Warriors over Canyon del Oro Thursday night in the 4A Conference Play-In Tournament.
Pueblo (11-8 in power-ranking games) lost to the Dorados 85-79 over a month ago but the Warriors avenged that loss with a 62-58 win at Canyon del Oro (12-7) two weeks ago but that was followed up by three straight losses while the Dorados finished the regular season with four straight victories including a big 47-34 win at No. 9 Sahuaro. There’s where the computers were tricked.
The three straight losses by the Warriors included a 64-60 loss at No. 1 Salpointe, a 55-51 loss to Cholla and a 53-50 loss at Sahuaro. Those all turned out to be good losses in the world of setbacks and the difficult run helped the Warriors outlast Canyon del Oro Thursday night….
LINK: GAME STORY AT AZPREPS365
WINTER PLAYOFF SCHEDULE
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 10
Big state tournament win tonight against Desert Edge 46-42! Important timely plays but lots of Cougars tonight. They were led by senior Ryan Valdez's balanced 14 points, 4 rebounds and 4 steals. Titus Palmer had 17 points and senior Marvin Kemp with two FTs to ice the game.
— Sahuaro Basketball (@SahuaroBB) February 11, 2022
4A BOYS BASKETBALL PLAY-IN TOURNAMENT
No. 9 Sahuaro 46, No. 24 Desert Edge 42
No. 22 Pueblo 68, No. 11 Canyon del Oro 53
No. 16 Rio Rico 62, No. 17 Bradshaw Mountain 57
No. 10 Coconino 66, No. 23 Mica Mountain 56
5A-6A GIRLS BASKETBALL PLAY-IN TOURNAMENTS
6A: No. 13 Tucson 53, No. 20 Rincon/UHS 35
5A: No. 9 Ironwood Ridge 50, No. 24 Desert Mountain 36
5A: No. 10 Catalina Foothills 58, No. 23 Casa Grande 31
5A: No. 11 Cienega 57, No. 22 Higley 47
5A: No. 13 Sunnyside 65, No. 20 Verrado 11
5A: No. 12 Casteel 66, No. 21 Mountain View 33
— Sunnyside Basketball (@Sunnyside_Hoops) February 11, 2022
Badgers win!! On to the state tournament! We had great performances by Gabriella Sanchez and Kalani Dancer! Great job ladies! pic.twitter.com/BeLTTRrcGb
— Tucson High Girls' Basketball (@THMSGBB) February 11, 2022
Great coaching job by Niki Melchiori. The former Mountain View standout, and now longtime coach with the Mountain Lions, turned 3 wins last year to a conference play-in game this year. https://t.co/K17rcUFdM2
— Andy Morales (@AndyMorales8) February 11, 2022
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 11
1A BOYS BASKETBALL QUARTERFINALS
No. 6 Leading Edge at No. 3 St. David, 7 p.m.
No. 8 Desert Christian at No. 1 Mohave Accelerated, 7 p.m.
5A-6A BOYS BASKETBALL PLAY-IN TOURNAMENTS
6A: No. 21 Desert Ridge at No. 12 Tucson, 7 p.m.
5A: No. 23 Nogales at No. 10 Catalina Foothills, 7 p.m.
5A: No. 18 Ironwood Ridge at No. 15 North Canyon, 7 p.m.
5A: No. 19 Sunnyside at No. 14 Campo Verde, 7 p.m.
5A: No. 21 Marana at No. 12 Ironwood, 7 p.m.
5A: No. 22 Cienega at No. 11 Horizon, 7 p.m.
5A GIRLS BASKETBALL PLAY-IN TOURNAMENT
No. 17 Willow Canyon at No. 16 Nogales, 7 p.m.
4A GIRLS BASKETBALL PLAY-IN TOURNAMENT
No. 17 Pueblo at No. 16 Amphitheater, 7 p.m.
No. 20 Sahuarita at No. 13 Poston Butte, 7 p.m.
No. 21 Rio Rico at No. 12 Lee Williams, 7 p.m.
No. 24 Mica Mountain at No. 9 Shadow Mountain, 7 p.m.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 12
DI-DIV BOYS WRESTLING SECTIONALS
3A GIRLS SOCCER QUARTERFINALS
No. 5 Scottsdale Christian at No. 4 Sabino, noon
4A GIRLS SOCCER FIRST ROUND
No. 10 Lee Williams at No. 7 Salpointe, noon
No. 11 Paradise Honors at No. 6 Walden Grove, noon
No. 9 Sahuaro at No. 8 Mohave, noon
No. 13 Sahuarita at No. 4 Prescott, 2 p.m.
No. 16 Canyon del Oro at No. 1 Notre Dame, noon
4A BOYS SOCCER FIRST ROUND
No. 15 Douglas at No. 2 Salpointe, 2 p.m.
No. 12 Walden Grove at No. 5 Cortez, noon
No. 14 Canyon del Oro at No. 3 Mohave, 2 p.m.
5A GIRLS SOCCER FIRST ROUND
No. 14 Canyon View at No. 3 Cienega, noon
No. 12 Sunrise Mountain at No. 5 Ironwood Ridge, noon
No. 13 Catalina Foothills at No. 4 Arcadia, noon
5A BOYS SOCCER FIRST ROUND
No. 15 Independence at No. 2 Sunnyside, noon
No. 13 Carl Hayden at No. 4 Cienega, 2 p.m.
No. 9 Desert View at No. 8 Horizon, 2 p.m.
No. 10 Catalina Foothills at No. 7 Sunrise Mountain, noon
No. 12 Nogales at No. 5 Campo Verde, 2 p.m.
6A BOYS SOCCER FIRST ROUND
No. 16 Maryvale at No. 1 Tucson, 3 p.m.
No. 9 Chaparral at No. 8 Rincon/UHS, 3 p.m.
1A GIRLS BASKETBALL QUARTERFINALS
No. 8 Desert Christian at No. 1 Fort Thomas, 4:30 p.m.
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 15
4A BOYS SOCCER QUARTERFINALS
Douglas/Salpointe winner vs. TBD
5A GIRLS BASKETBALL FIRST ROUND
Flowing Wells, Buena, Ironwood Ridge, Catalina Foothills, Cienega, Sunnyside
4A BOYS BASKETBALL FIRST ROUND
Salpointe, Sahuaro, Rio Rico, Pueblo
3A GIRLS BASKETBALL FIRST ROUND
Sabino, Pusch Ridge
Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014, he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017, a 2019 AZ Education News award winner and he has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. He was the first in Arizona to write about high school beach volleyball and high school girls wrestling. 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. Andy was named an Honorary Flowing Wells Caballero in 2019, became a member of the Sunnyside Los Mezquites Cross Country Hall of Fame in 2021 and he was a member of the Amphi COVID-19 Blue Ribbon Committee and he earned a Distinguished Service Award from Amphitheater. Contact Andy Morales at firstname.lastname@example.org