Oree Foster
Staff Writer, AZPreps365.com

Boys basketball: Alchesay's goal is to return to the state finals

November 27, 2018 by Oree Foster, AZPreps365

Alchesay lost some key players from last year's boy's Class 2A State Runner-Up team.

Despite losing some key players, the Falcons look strong on paper to make a serious run at this year's state championship.

Six players return from last year's 33-2 squad that completed the 2A North Region undefeated at 12-0.

Returning players include 6-foot-6 junior center Antwan Quintero, 5-foot-10 senior guard Tyreck Cosay, 6-foot senior guard Kellen Parrish, 6-foot senior forward Gregory Dazen, 5-foot-11 senior point guard Shayne Stover and 6-foot-2 junior forward Malachai Harris.

First-year varsity players are 6-foot senior guard Dee'Andre Anderson, 5-foot-10 senior guard Gabriel Burnette, 5-foot-11 senior guard LeVander Dewey, 6-foot-2 senior forward Sherwon Colelay, 6-foot senior forward Caleb Stevens, 5-foot-10 junior guard Elisha Walker and 6-foot-1 junior forward Ryan Quintero.

Alchesay head coach Kyle Goklish, who begins his 10th year, guided the Falcons to the state championship game. Rancho Solano Prep defeated Alchesay, 69-62, for the state title.

In the first round of the state tournament, Alchesay dropped Phoenix Country Day, 72-41. The Falcons outlasted Scottsdale Prep, 71-49, in the quarterfinals.

Alchesay advanced to the Final Four, where the Falcons beat Paradise Honors, 67-61.

Goklish believes the Falcons' defense and rebounding are keys to success.

"We're going to improve our play on defense and rebounding," Goklish said. "A goal of ours is to win the 2A North Region title and earn an automatic bid to the state tournament, with a goal of returning to the state finals."

During Goklish's first nine years as Alchesay's head coach, he has never had a losing season. Goklish has a 217-81 career won-lost record.

Goklish's coaching career at Alchesay has been fantastic. In fact, during the past two years, Goklish has guided Alchesay to a 67-5 won-lost slate. He has a 114-21 won-lost record the past four years. He has recorded 30-plus winning years twice. He has recorded 20-plus winning seasons five times.

Goklish said for the Falcons to earn a state tournament berth this year, the team will have to win the 2A North Region title.

"We are going to have to be disciplined offensively and be a sound defensive team," Goklish said.

Goklish believes Alchesay has beefed up its non-region schedule with a pair of challenging tournaments and four tough freedom games. The 2A North Region has added one more team this year.

"We will be participating in the Round Valley and Chandler Prep basketball tournaments this year," Goklish said. "For our freedom games this year, we will be playing Snowflake, Blue Ridge, San Carlos and Payson. We picked up another school for the 2A North Region this year, which is Tuba City Greyhills. It gives us a total of 14 region games this year."

Goklish said the 2A North Region has some quality teams that will make the league much stronger.

Eight team are members of the 2A North Region. The teams include Greyhills Academy, Hopi, Many Farms, Pinon, Round Valley, St. John's, Valley Sanders and Alchesay.

"I think Hopi High School will have a strong showing this year, as well as improved play from St. John's and Round Valley high schools in the 2A North Region."

Alchesay opens its hoops season this Friday, entertaining nearby rival, San Carlos High School in a fredom game showdown on the Falcons' home court in Whiteriver at 7:30 p.m.