Salpointe wins early battle with Tucson

Taliyah Henderson. (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson)


The Salpointe Lancers improved to 5-2 on the year after the defending 4A state champions beat Tucson High 58-33 at home Monday night. The Badgers are now 4-4 on the season.

Led by sophomore Taliyah Henderson, the Lancers opened up with a 19-5 lead after the first quarter with Henderson scoring 12 of her game-high 23 points in the period. Salpointe took a 28-16 lead at the half and 48-24 after three. Tucson senior Gabriella Sanchez led the Badgers with 14 points and Makayla Luna added 7.

Bria Medina scored 11 for Salpointe, Jordan Watts added 8 and Allison Even scored 7 to go along with the 23 by Taliyah……


Salpointe head coach Joseph Luevano added assistant coaches Ben Hurley and Kent Senzee to his staff. Hurley won a state championship coaching the Amphitheater boys team and Senzee moved over from being the head coach at Canyon del Oro. Tucson head coach Annette Gutierrez is joined by former University of Arizona player Greta Naranjo and former assistant Felicia “Fee” Greenhouse is now with Pima.

Greenhouse, and fellow Pima assistants Pete Fajardo and Jim Rosborough, were on in the stands to evaluate the exceptional talent playing in the game. Gutierrez played at Salpointe and she was the head coach of the Lancers in the mid-1990s. Gutierrez and Naranjo also coached together at Pima.

Former Sunnyside standout Jermaine Watts was in the stands to watch his daughter Jordan play for Salpointe. Only a sophomore, Watts is already scoring almost 8 points a game after helping the Lancers win a state title last year to go along with the trophy her father won with the Blue Devils in 1993 and her grand uncles Randall and Jeff Moore won with Pueblo a generation before.


Named one of “Arizona’s Heart & Sol” by KOLD and Casino del Sol, Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014, he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017 and a 2019 AZ Education News recognition. He was 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 and his unique perspective can only be found here and on AZPreps365.com. Andy is a 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. He earned a Distinguished Service Award from Amphitheater and he was recognized by City Councilman Richard Fimbres. Contact Andy Morales at amoralesmytucson@yahoo.com

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