No. 3 Centennial (Div. II) at No. 4 Chandler (Div. I) - East Valley Tribune: Home

No. 3 Centennial (Div. II) at No. 4 Chandler (Div. I)

Athletes ahoy. Both schools have been in the “elite” class recently, whether for long periods of time as Centennial (Division II) has dating back to its 5A Division II days, or off-and-on in the case of Chandler. Both teams certainly could play the part again in 2013, because both teams are well-stocked in speed, talent and something to prove. Centennial was crushed by Tucson Ironwood Ridge in last year’s state championship game, while the Wolves have revamped their defensive style to a degree under Thurmond Moore, while Shaun Aguano’s team is loaded at the skill positions with Bryce Perkins, Dionte Sykes, Chase Lucas and Mitch McCulley. The Coyotes, meanwhile, are trying to plug in a lot of new pieces defensively, and, with or without Sykes this week while waiting for medical clearance to return from a broken hand, will have a tough task. So, too, will Chandler’s defense in handling Centennial’s running game, the kind of thing that’s caused problems for the Wolves for four quarters in recent history. It’s a juggernaut of an opener for both schools, and a shootout isn’t far-fetched.

Prediction: Centennial 27, Chandler 24

-- Mark Heller

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