Preseason basketball watch list East Valley/Northeast Valley

November 17, 2017 by Les Willsey, AZPreps365

Mesquite's girls basketball team guns for a second straight 5A title beginning Monday. (AzPreps365 photo)


Football is nearly dormant the week of Nov. 20-25, but that doesn't mean there won't be something to watch in the prep world.

Basketball opens with a flurry beginning Monday Nov. 20 with an array of tournaments and time for fans to take in a bunch of teams and players on just about any given day during the week.

A scan of the top teams and players to watch for the guys and gals focusing primarily on East Valley and Northeast Valley schools followed in each section by first-week tournaments, the sites and teams competing in each invitational:

Tournament schedules for next week can be found on by going to the basketball page and clicking on "Scores" each day to find out times and matchups as tournaments progress;


2016-17 state champs: 6A - Basha. 5A  - Sunnyslope. 4A - Shadow Mountain. 3A - Fountain Hills. 2A - Gilbert Christian. 1A - NFL Yet.

Teams to watch (bold teams ahead of the rest)

6A: Pinnacle, Desert Vista, Mountain Pointe, Cesar Chavez, Mesa High, Red Mountain, Hamilton, Gilbert, Perry, Brophy Prep, Mountain View, Westview

5A: Sunnyslope, McClintock, Ironwood, Paradise Valley, Arcadia, Liberty, Deer Valley, Buena, Apollo, Mesquite, Betty Farifax.

4A: Shadow Mountain, Moon Valley, Walden Grove, Higley, Catalina Foothills, Buckeye, Salpointe, Cactus Shadows, Peoria.

3A: American Leadership Academy, Blue Ridge; Florence; Northwest Christian; Empire; Sabino; Valley Christian, Yuma Catholic.
2A: Alchesay, San Carlos, Scottsdale Christian, Rancho Solano Prep, Thatcher, Gilbert Christian.


6A players to watch  

Ian Burke, Sr-G, and Jaxson Baker, Sr-F, Brophy Prep;  Eric Blackwell G and Dalen Terry, So-G, Corona del Sol; Wesley Harris, Sr-F, Desert Vista; Juhlwanei Stone, Sp-P and Johnathan Hunter, Sr-G, Dobson; Doc Self, Jr-G and Trajon Hawkins, Sr-G, Gilbert; Rashad Smith, Sr-G, Hamilton; Carter Coray, Sr-G, Highland; Aidyn Albright Jr-G and Gabe Zdrale Sr-F, Horizon; Mark Hatch, Sr-G, and Zach Hobbs, Jr-G, Mesa High; Amarion Cash, Sr-G and Jr-G Khalid Price, Mtn. Pointe; Adam Pierce, Sr-F, Kaleb Doka, Sr-G and Cooper Richeson, Jr-G, Mtn. View; Jalen Williams, Jr-G and Kyle Patterson, Jr-F, Perry; Nico Mannion, So-G, and Trent Brown Jr-G, Pinnacle; Timmy Allen, Sr.-F, and Andre Harris, Jr-F, Red Mountain; Montana Oltrogge, Sr-F, Leilani McIntosh, Jr-G and Katie Hassett, Sr-C, Xavier Prep. 

5A players to watch

Jaylin Fleming, Sr-G and Aiden Weber, Sr-F, Arcadia; Blaise Threatt, Jr-G, Chaparral; Jaden Lee Sr-G, and David Exline Sr-F, Mesquite; Josh Baker, Jr-G, McClintock; Joey Jaquint, Sr-G, and Skylar Certo, Sr-G, Notre Dame Prep; Tashon Brown, Sr-G Paradise Valley; Kevin Johnson, Sr-G, Poston Butte; Chris Orozco, Sr-F, Kyle Fisher, Sr-G, and Jaren Whitfield, Sr-G, Sunnyslope; Duan Tate, G-Sr, Williams Field.

4A players to watch

Julian Johnson, Sr-G, Cactus Shadows; Cory Pearson Sr-P, Combs; Kyle White, Sr-F, Jason Harris, So-F, Higley; Carson Lee, Jr-G, Seton Catholic; Naseem Vigil, Sr-G, Tempe.

3A-2A players to watch

Chris York, Jr-G and Austin Ponsness, Jr-G, Casteel;  Rarey Sommer, Sr-C, Florence; Jake Klingler, Sr-G, Gilbert Classical Academy; Stephen McCollum Jr-G, Horizon Honors; Jalen Grijalva, Jr-G, and Connor Braun, Jr-F, Valley Christian.


WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE (Nov. 20-24): Hosted by Gilbert HS. Teams entered -- Chandler, Desert Ridge, Gilbert, Mountain Pointe, Perry, Pinnacle, Westview and Williams Field.

FEAR THE HOP (Nov. 20-25): Hosted by Mesa HS.Teams entered -- Apache Junction, Carl Hayden, Corona del Sol, Hamilton, Highland, Mesa, Mountain Ridge, Saguaro, Skyline.

GIVE THANKS CLASSIC (Nov. 20-25): Hosted by Notre Dame Prep, other schools. Teams entered -- Cactus, Cactus Shadows, Campo Verde, Coolidge, Fountain Hills, Maricopa, Notre Dame and Queen Creek.

POSTON BUTTE THANKSGIVING CLASSIC (Nov. 20-22): Hosted by Poston  Butte HS. Teams entered -- Casteel, Florence, Poston Butte, Seton Catholic, Verrado and Washington.

FIREBIRD FRENZY (Nov. 21-25): Hosted by Chaparral HS. Teams entered -- Betty Fairfax, Boulder Creek, Cesar Chavez, Chaparral,  Horizon, Leading Edge Academy, Paradise Valley, Valley Vista.

CHANDLER PREP INVITATIONAL (Nov. 24-25): Hosted by Chandler Prep, Gilbert Christian and LIncoln Prep. Teams entered -- Alhambra, Americain Leadership Academy, Arete Prep, Arizona College Prep, Benjamin Franklin, Buckeye, Centennial, Chandler Prep, Combs, Gilbert Christian, Greyhills, Holbrook, Miami, Raymond Kellis, Sabino, San Tan Foothills, Sunnyside, Superior, Valley Union, Vista Grande.

***SUNNYSLOPE HOOPSGIVING TOURNAMENT: Hosted by Sunnyslope HS and Sandra Day O'Connor HS (Nov. 20-24):  Teams entered -- Apollo, Camelback, Deer Valley, Estrella Foothills, Greenway, Ironwood, Liberty, Moon Valley, NFL Yet, Peoria, Rancho Solano, Sandra Day O'Connor, Sunnyslope, Sunrise Mountain, Thunderbird, Trevor Browne.


2016-2017 state champs: 6A - Valley Vista. 5A - Mesquite. 4A - Seton Catholic. 3A - Valley Christian. 2A - Valley (Sanders). 1A - St. Michael.

Teams to watch (bold teams ahead of the rest)

6A: Valley Vista, Millennium, Gilbert, Desert Mountain, Highland, Mountain Pointe, Xavier, Red Mountain, Chandler.

5A: Mesquite, Arcadia, Chaparral, Maricopa, Marana, Betty Fairfax, Cienega, Sierra Linda, Ironwood Ridge.

4A: Seton Catholic, Flagstaff, Pueblo, Thunderbird, Shadow Mountain, Cactus Shadows.

3A: Page, Tuba City, Window Rock, Ganado.

2A: Leading Edge Academy, Alchesay, Sedona Red Rock, Gilbert Christian, Valley (Sanders), Phoenix Country Day, Safford.

6A players to watch  

Victoria Mason, So-G, Chandler; Rayah Craig, Sr-G and Alana Kelley, Sr.F, Desert Mountain; Sentia Bryant, Sr-C, Desert Ridge; Haley Cavinder, Jr-G and Hanna Cavinder, Jr-G, Gilbert; Kamryn Brown, Sr-F, Highland; Alyssa Alvarez, Sr-W, Horizon; Dominique Phillips, Jr-G,  and Ali Zelaya, So-F, and Alaina Diggs, Jr.-F, Millennium; Eve Kulovitz, Sr-F, and Isela Enriquez, Sr-G, Mtn. Pointe; Shaila Mays, Jr-G, and Ellie Moore, Jr-F, Pinnacle; Amaya West, Sr-F, and Jacquelyn Ries, Sr-G, Red Mountain; Taylor Chavez, Sr-G, Clarissa Rodarte, Sr-G and Terreysha Banner Sr.-G, Valley Vista.

5A players to watch

Bryce Nixon, Sr-G, Cassidy Campbell Sr-G Dylan Watkiss, Sr-G; Taylor Houser, S-F and Lauren Dib, Sr-P, Arcadia; Marlena Arroyo, Sr-P, Campo Verde; Maddie Vick, Sr-G, Chaparral; Sydni Callis, Sr-G, Jayla Johnson, Sr-F, Maricopa; Shaylee Gonzalez, Sr-G, Lindsey VanAllen, Sr-G and Hailey Walker, Sr-G, Mesquite; Tianna Bruce, Sr-G, Poston Butte; Lacee Jenkins, Sr-G, Williams Field; 

4A-2A players to watch

Tia Hegge, Sr-G, American Leadership Academy; Anastasia Bell, Jr-G, Higley; Jasmine McKinney, Sr-G, Sarah Barcello, Sr-G and Kendall Krick Sr-G, Seton Catholic; Anna Gorman, Sr-G, Valley Christian. 


TURKEY SHOOTOUT (Nov. 20-21): Hosted by Queen Creek HS. Teams entered -- Basha, Benjamin Franklin, Blue Ridge, Casa Grande, Catalina Foothills, Higley, Holbook, McClintock, Marana Mountain View, Mesa Mountain View, Perry, Poston Butte, Pusch Ridge, Queen Creek, Sunrise Mountain, Williams Field.

LADY HAWK THANKSGIVING CLASSIC (Nov. 20-25): Hosted by Highland HS, Mesquite HS Teams entered -- Desert Mountain, Desert Ridge, Flowing Wells, Gilbert, Highland, Horizon, Leading Edge Academy, Mesquite, Pueblo, Seton Catholic, Valley Vista, Xavier Prep.

MOUNTAIN POINTE THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY CLASSIC (Nov. 20-25): Hosted by Mountain Pointe HS. Teams entered -- Cactus Shadows, Campo Verde, Cibola, Corona del Sol, Coolidge, Desert Vista, Dobson, Hamilton, Marcos de Niza, Mesa, Mountain Pointe, Skyline.