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Chandler's Hundley to decide between UCLA and Washington
Palo Verde grad Cotton commits to Providence for basketball.
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Thursday, September 02, 2010
Keep your friends up to date.
Palo Verde (Tucson)
(class of 2010) has signed to play basketball this season with Providence. Cotton, an athletic 6-foot-1 guard, led Palo Verde to a 24-7 record and the Class 4A Division II state semifinals last season, averaging 23.6 points, four assists and 3.7 steals.
File photo by James Conrad
Chandler's Brett Hundley.
In other recruiting news,
coach Jim Ewan said the Wolves'
, the state's top quarterback and one of the nation's highest-rated quarterbacks, will announce his college choice on Sept. 6, likely in a news conference. Hundley is choosing between Washington and UCLA. Hundley threw four touchdown passes in a 69-33 rout of
in a little more than one half of play Friday. This week, the No. 3 Wolves (5A-I) take on
, MaxPreps' No. 2 ranked 5A-II team.
The Arizona Republic reports that the University of Arizona has faxed scholarship offers to
and junior receiver/cornerback
, who helped the Firebirds capture the 5A-II state title last season.
TOP 5 STORYLINES FROM THE WEEK:
1. Ouch and double ouch:
It was a tough first week for University of Arizona commits.
lost defensive end
for eight weeks with a broken foot and
Canyon del Oro (Tucson)
suffered a broken left index finger during the first quarter of Friday's 26-13 victory over
Ironwood Ridge (Tucson)
. Playing through that and an ankle sprain, Carey, the state's top back and a University of Arizona recruit, still finished with 180 yards on 26 carries. He plans to keep playing when the Dorados face
Santa Rita (Tucson)
also found out it won't have its best defensive player, linebacker Tony Vaitafa, for two more games for academic reasons.
2. Streak busters:
43-game regular-season winning streak Friday with a 10-0 victory.
kicked a 33-yard field goal in the third quarter and fullback
(120 yards) iced the game with a rushing touchdown. Fountain Hills was also the last team to beat Wickenburg, during the 2005 regular season. Much of Wickenburg’s streak was built by former coach Norris Vaughan, who left to coach at Mountain Pointe (Phoenix) last season.
3. Rebirth of the Rattlers:
North Canyon (Phoenix)
went 3-8 last year in 5A-I and most observers expected more of the same this season. Then the Rattlers went out and thumped perennial 5A-II power
, one of the state's better signal callers, completed 24 of 27 passes for 391 yards and four TDs. Portocarrero also ran for 82 yards and a touchdown. North Canyon won its only state football championship in 2005 while in 5A-II, beating Peoria Centennial.
4. Comeback kids:
Red Mountain (Mesa)
coach Jim Jones felt his Mountain Lions were a year away from contention last season. Under new coach Ron Wisniewski, the Lions served notice last week. Trailing 32-10 at the half to a
club that several coaches have tabbed as a sleeper, Red Mountain roared back for a 38-32 win in Wisniewski's first game. Watch out for the Mountain Lions.
5. Filled with Pride:
We knew the
Mountain Pointe (Phoenix)
defense was going to be rock solid this season – perhaps the best unit in the state. That bore out in a 58-0 rout of
. What we didn't expect was for the Pride to roll up 333 yards rushing after losing standout backs Davon Jones and De'Andre Currie to graduation. Coach Norris Vaughan has this school back on the map, and looking to improve on last season's 5A-I state semifinal berth.
THE FAB 5
, Jr., RB,
Ran 22 times for 328 yards and five touchdowns, including the game winner, in a 38-32 overtime victory at
Estrella Foothills (Goodyear)
. Ellis had scoring runs of 86 and 71 yards.
, Sr., RB,
Ran for 222 yards and seven touchdowns on just 12 carries in a 60-13 win at
, Jr., RB,
Arizona Lutheran Academy (Phoenix)
Ran 19 times for 235 yards and four touchdowns in a 56-26 rout of
South Pointe (Phoenix)
. He also caught a 20-yard touchdown pass and was 8-for-8 on point-after attempts.
4. Tyler Bruggman, So., QB,
Brophy College Prep (Phoenix)
Threw for 340 yards and three third-quarter touchdowns in a 30-13 victory over
Deer Valley (Glendale)
5. Dominic Portocarrero, Sr., QB, North Canyon:
24 of 27 passing for 391 yards and four TDs in a 42-14 win over Sunnyside.
TOP 5 GAMES TO WATCH
Interconference: No. 3 Chandler (5A-I) at No. 2 Centennial (5A-II):
Chandler quarterback Brett Hundley won the starting job for good last season vs. Centennial when he led the Wolves to 32 second-half points in a loss. Chandler's strength is its offense, but the Wolves will be without starting RB
, who was lost for the season on a freak accident during pre-game warm-ups last week. Centennial's strength is its defense where Linebackers
can all make plays.
5A-II: No. 1 Chaparral and No. 4
Boulder Creek (Anthem)
Chaparral junior quarterback Connor Brewer threw for 250 yards and three touchdowns in last week's 53-7 win over 5A-I
. Boulder Creek beat a good
team in overtime and has visions of becoming a state title contender.
Interconference: No. 3 (3A)
Round Valley (Eagar)
at No. 6 (2A)
St. Johns defensive end
hopes to pressure Round Valley's uber-talented QB,
, who was 20 of 31 for 307 yards and four TDs in win over Winslow last week.
4A-I: No. 4
at No. 5
Cactus Shadows (Cave Creek)
Cienega running back
returns after serving a one-game team suspension in last week's 56-15 rout of
Buena (Sierra Vista)
. Cactus Shadows used a double pass in the final minute to win in Vail last year.
5A-I: No. 8
After an eight-year exile, Bernie Busken makes his Arizona coaching return out of the Valley spotlight. It should be a successful one for the Bears boss.
The high school volleyball season kicked off this week. The more things change the more they stay the same. Last year's champs are among the few favorites once again, including 5A-I's
Xavier College Prep (Phoenix)
Seton Catholic (Chandler)
In the past, I've voiced my concern with the trickle-down effect media exposure has had on high school athletes, with specific regard to college recruiting and national rankings.
The former leads to self-absorption with too much attention paid to every visit and paring down of schools on the wish list. The latter is a study in the absurd since no one can reasonably rank high school teams across the nation until they all play each other on a consistent basis.
One trend I have no trouble with, however, is the growth of interstate contests. While there's a valid concern that the games are scheduled to bolster programs' reputations, thereby establishing a passive form of recruitment, the experience and perspective kids gain from travel is immeasurable and irreplaceable.
Basha coach Bernie Busken said his football program is working on booking 2011 and 2012 football games in San Diego and Hawaii. The school still needs approval from the Chandler school district and the Arizona Interscholastic Association, but Busken said the funds will be raised by the team with the help of its booster club. He is not sure which schools Basha would play in San Diego and Hawaii.
Part of the impetus for this trip is to get his kids out of the Valley in August when temperatures exceed 110 degrees. But there's no doubt Busken's kids will grow and learn from the experience, especially in Hawaii where the culture is as foreign as you can get on American soil.
We wish them luck in raising those funds.
Craig Morgan is a freelance writer who has covered professional, college and high school sports in the Phoenix area for the past 18 years. He currently serves as the Phoenix correspondent for CBSSports.com, covering the Arizona Cardinals and other local teams. He also writes a weekly column and other features for The Arizona Republic. You can reach him at