McClintock's Cameron Forte averaged 21.9 points and 7.7 rebounds to garner the Tribune's Boys Basketball Player of the Year award.
As a sophomore last year, Cameron Forte sat out the high school season after transferring from Marcos de Niza to McClintock, then missed a portion of the club basketball circuit in the summer.
While he wasn't a complete unknown, it left the 6-foot-5 swingman under the radar.
Forte burst onto the scene in a big way, averaging 21.9 points and 7.7 rebounds to lead the Chargers to the 4A-I state championship and garner the Tribune's Boys Basketball Player of the Year award.
"A lot of people didn't know about him because it was his first varsity season," McClintock coach Jase Coburn said. "He's a tremendous offensive talent. He's a big part of what we did this year."
Forte seemed to play his best in pressure situations.
He had 34 points and 14 rebounds in January when the Chargers knocked off then-No. 1 Phoenix Sunnyslope. He had 32 points and 14 rebounds against Glendale Apollo in the state quarterfinals.
In the title game, McClintock met Sunnyslope again. Forte scored 28 points in the first half and finished with 38 points, 20 rebounds and six blocks. While Sunnyslope's Royce Woolridge is heading to Kansas next year, Forte was the best player on the floor in both meetings.
"It's fun when the spotlight is on you," Forte said.
Forte is multidimensional, able to handle the ball on the perimeter or post up smaller players in the paint.
He shot 56 percent this season, largely due to his body control and soft touch around the basket.
"He's a tough guy to cover," Coburn said. "I don't know what the answer is in covering him."
Opposing teams will have one more season to figure that out.
Forte will be a senior, and he will enter the season as one to watch. In that way, things will be different.
But he wants the results to remain the same.
"I want us to do the same thing we did this year," he said. "It was pretty amazing to win that championship."
2009-10 All-Tribune boys basketball team
|Cameron Forte||McClintock||F||Jr.||Smooth lefty burst onto scene and led his team to 4A-I title|
|Jahii Carson||Mesa||G||Jr.||Oregon State commit set single-season scoring record at Mesa|
|Shawn King||Gilbert||G||Sr.||Central Region POY averaged 23.8 ppg and 7.2 rpg|
|Devirous Johnson||Chandler||F||Sr.||Fiesta Region POY averaged 19.3 ppg, 12.3 rpg|
|George Matthews||St. Mary's||F||Sr.||Silky-smooth Matthews carried team to state semifinals|
|Larry Lewis||Arcadia||G||So.||Young gun averaged 22.4 points and is headed to USC|
|Christian Bower||Mesquite||G||Sr.||Floor general was the engine for run-and-gun Wildcats|
|Judd Welfringer||Basha||F||Jr.||Multidimensional threat did a little of everything for Bears|
|Collin Woods||Horizon||G||Jr.||Well-rounded player led Huskies to 5A-II semifinals|
|Asaad Woods||Mountain View||F||Sr.||Improved jump shot made Woods more dangerous this season|
Player of the Year: Cameron Forte, McClintock
Coach of the Year: Bob Fredericks, Scottsdale Christian. The Eagles went undefeated in midseason stretch without top player Hayden Johnson, then won 2A title after his return.
Arcadia: Brandon Dixon, Jr., G; Basha: Torren Jones, Fr., F; Brelan Berry, Sr., F; Brophy: Ryan Milne, Sr., G; Cactus Shadows: Kyle Gunter, Sr., F; P.J. Ubides, Sr., G; Chandler: Desmond Floyd, Sr. F; Chaparral: Nick Tomsick, Sr., G; Jarrett Upchurch, Jr., G; Coronado: Shane Harney, Sr., G; Corona del Sol: David Whitmore, Sr., F; Kyle Noon, Sr., G; Desert Mountain: Peter Smith, Jr. G; Desert Ridge: Derreck Brooks, So., G; Dylan Crist, Sr., C; Desert Vista: Duncan Schramm, Sr., F; Dobson: Jarrett Green, Sr., G; John Bailey, Sr., F; Gilbert Christian: Dillon Currier, Sr., G; Logan Fougnies, So., G; Fountain Hills: Alex Forehand, Sr., F; Hamilton: Jonathan Wilt, Sr., F; Jerry Harville, Sr., G; Highland: Connor Toolson, So., G; Horizon: Kyle Tresnak, Sr., F; Marcos de Niza: Andy Jones, Sr., F; T.J. Burke, Jr., F; Maricopa: Terrance Motley, Sr., F; McClintock: Derek Owens, Sr., G; Terrin Elam, Sr., G; Mesa: Blondy Baruti, Sr., F; Danny Powell, So., F; Mesquite: Isaiah Strong, Sr., G; Josh Amaya, Sr., F; Mountain Pointe: Michael Ramirez, Sr., G; Tylor Wimbish, Jr., F; Mountain View: Jaron Sweeney, Jr., G; Camyn Boone, So., F; Queen Creek: Luke Miller, Sr., G; Paradise Valley: Naheer Mirza, Sr.., G; Perry: Dillon Smock, Jr., G; Chase Richardson, Jr., G; Pinnacle: Daniel Dziedzic, Sr., G; Red Mountain: Jordan McDougald, Sr., G; Paul Newendyke, Sr., G; Tempe: Marcell McClain, Sr., G; Saguaro: Jack Connors, Jr., G; Scottsdale Christian: Hayden Johnson, Sr., F; John Irvine, Sr., F; Seton Catholic: Thomas Harty, Sr., G; Dale Lockhart, Sr., F; Andrew Blauvelt, Sr., G; Skyline: Angel Ung, Jr., G; St. Mary’s: Chris Mason, Jr., G; Jordan Didier, Sr., F; Valley Christian: Drew Bond, Jr., F; Williams Field: Austin Moyers, Sr., F.
So close: Chaparral made a memorable run to the 5A-II title game as a No. 7 seed but fell just short of the championship. Zeke Chapman’s layup attempt was blocked with just seconds left as Anthem Boulder Creek held on for the one-point victory.
Mesa falls: The Jackrabbits were the No. 1 seed in the 5A-I state tournament and beat many of the top contenders during the season. But Mesa never even made it to Wells Fargo Arena, as No. 9 seed St. Mary’s upset the Jackrabbits in the quarterfinals.
Perfection: Gilbert Christian dominated its 1A competition all season, finishing 32-0 with a state title. The Knights did not win a game by fewer than 11 points all season.
Buzzer-beaters: Terrin Elam gave McClintock the 4A-I state title when he grabbed an offensive rebound and scored with 4.2 seconds left against Sunnyslope. Marcos de Niza’s Andy Jones hit a jumper in the state quarterfinals to give the Padres a win over Phoenix Central. Early in the season, Mesa’s Jahii Carson went coast to coast and hit a layup at the buzzer as the Jackrabbits knocked off No. 1 Phoenix North in overtime.