2023-24 Girls Basketball

NOTEBOOK: Flowing Wells “hooper” guard Brianna Potter among top freshmen locally

Flowing Wells guard Brianna Potter is one of the top freshmen in Southern Arizona (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Flowing Wells guard Brianna Potter is aptly described as a “hooper” by her coach Michael Perkins.

She almost outscored the competition in her first high school postseason game Thursday night in the 4A play-in round.

Potter finished with 18 points, leading Flowing Wells to a 77-20 victory over Phoenix Thunderbird.

Flowing Wells (20-9) will play in the 4A state bracket starting Thursday. It will learn of its seed and opponent Saturday morning when the brackets are revealed.

Potter is the fourth-leading scorer among freshmen in Southern Arizona averaging 12 points per game.

Perkins, in his 19th season at Flowing Wells, is confident of Potter’s ability to excel in the state playoffs instead of being in awe as a freshman.

“You have that early in the season as a freshman but she got over that really quick,” Perkins said about potential nerves for the freshman in the postseason. “She did so much for us tonight, pressuring the ball. I don’t know how many deflections she had but she was tipping balls all over the place.

“She had several steals. When she locks in defensively, we’re going to be really good. She knocked down some big shots tonight, too. It’s super helpful. Opens up a lot of space for everyone else.”

Potter has played basketball since she was in the second grade.

She attended Perkins’ camps since she played elementary and middle school basketball.

She plays club ball with Nike’s Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL).

For being so young, and never interviewed by a media member before, she said all the right things after Thursday’s performance:

“I love seeing my teammates score.”

“Work harder in practices and watch film.”

“I feel like we have a good chance (in the state playoffs). Just play our game. Don’t play down to a level. Just play our game.”

Flowing Wells freshman brings consistent hustle (Stephanie van Latum/Special to AllSportsTucson.com)


Leila O'DowdRincon/UHSG/F2759722.1
Jayda HaleySabinoF2646517.9
Jaidyn SaucedoIronwood RidgeG2639515.2
Brianna PotterFlowing WellsG2125112.0
Kayanna ChiefCatalina FoothillsG2731711.7
Ylenna GrossSunnysideG2729210.8


Brooklyn Espinoza PuebloF2626210.1
Jayda HaleySabinoF262248.6
Leila O'DowdRincon/UHSF272107.4
Daphne SafoRincon/UHSG221567.1
Addison JonesDesert ChristianF291746.0


Jaidyn SaucedoIronwood RidgeG26963.7
Dora MedinaSunnysideG27833.1
Kayanna ChiefCatalina FoothillsG27672.5

Potter and senior forward Kayla Bailey each had 13 points in the first half as Flowing Wells built a 46-9 halftime lead.

Potter made her third 3-pointer of the game in the third quarter, which she scored five more points.

“She’s just a basketball player; she’s a hooper,” Perkins said. “She loves hoops. She thinks about hoops all the time. She wants to play. She’s coachable every time. You look at her, she knows what I need and what I want. She adjusts and does it.”

Bailey finished with 17 points for Flowing Wells in the win over Thunderbird.

Allison Verdugo finished with 11 points and Alexa Mejia had nine, all in the first half.


Salpointe, a 4A program, had the unfortunate placement of facing 6A power Surprise Valley Vista in the second round of the Open Division on Thursday.

Valley Vista is a dynasty having won the last four 6A state championships.

The Monsoon were seeded No. 14 — No. 14!? — facing the No. 3 Lancers, who lost the game at home 69-58.

Valley Vista was 11-0 in the 6A West Valley and is 18-4 overall.

Simply put, Salpointe (23-4) should not have faced an opponent like Valley Vista in the early rounds of the Open Division. Semifinals or championship, yes. Round of 32? No.

The Lancers now become one of top seeds in the 4A state playoffs which start next week.

The junior-laden team led by Taliyah Handerson, Hannah Williams, Sidney Anderson, Allison Even and Jordan Watts will certainly challenge for an Open Division title next season when these five players are seniors.


No. 24 ALA-West Foothills — the lowest seeded team in the 3A state bracket — “upset” No. 9 Pusch Ridge 49-44 in overtime at Pusch Ridge on Tuesday.

Two days later, ALA-West Foothills traveled to No. 8 Coolidge and had an easier win, 53-44.

The Guardians next face No. 1 seed Page in the quarterfinals Monday in Prescott. That would be epic if a No. 24 team beats a top-seeded team to get to the semifinals.

This is not just any No. 24 team, however.

ALA-West Foothills started 0-5 and was 5-10 after losing 53-14 at Valley Christian on Jan. 8.

Since then, the Guardians are 10-1 with a seven-game winning streak after beating Pusch Ridge and Coolidge.

Definitely tough-luck seeding for Pusch Ridge.

Succeeding in the postseason can be the luck of the draw.


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 in 2016 and is presently a special education teacher at Sunnyside High School in the Sunnyside Unified School District.

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