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NEW THIS WEEK
Mountain Pointe had a purpose when it got off the bus in Las Vegas three months ago.
Natrell Curtis has had an odd season.
They might play in the middle of nowhere, but the River Valley Dust Devils are making quite an impression on the football field in the Division IV state playoffs.
No. 4 Desert Ridge vs. No. 1 Mountain Pointe (at McClintock H.S.): The easy pick is Mountain Pointe. After all, the Pride have been in a league of their from day 1 when they beat Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) on Gorman’s home field in late August. Nobody has stopped the Pride since, a rare combination of offensive balance, a defense, clearly defined leaders, excellent coaching, and something of a chip on their shoulder after losing handily in last year’s state championship game. Desert Ridge possess much the same, yet because of a little-used passing game and wonderment about the competition it’s faced to date, question marks still linger. The Jaguars are going to use Player of the Year candidate Taren Morrison and run right at the Pride, testing Mountain Pointe’s willingness to be physical and disciplined on every snap the entire game. Miss one, and Morrison is gone; the big plays are how Desert Ridge has broken the big-school, single-season rushing record. The difference here being Mountain Pointe’s defense is about as good as Desert Ridge has seen this year, and the Pride’s balance on offense tips the scales ever so slightly. As with all games, coaching at this level is pretty much a wash because how good they are with game plans and adjustments. If rain is a factor, Desert Ridge might gain an advantage on a slow, wet field. If not, it’s hard to go against the grain, even if it’ll be a tremendous game.
Prediction: Mountain Pointe 24, Desert Ridge 21
In this photo provided by the Las Vegas News Bureau, Comedian Carlos Mencia performs at Treasure Island Las Vegas Thursday, October 08, 2009.
Well, that was interesting.
Popping, whacking and breaking are all part of a day’s work for 5th generation Arizonan Sarah “Saza” Dimmick, who, along with the coach of the Phoenix Suns’ hip hop squad, Luis “Weezy” Egurrola, leads EPIK Dance Company. We chatted with “Saza” about her troupe and the original dance theatre work (“Common Ground”) they’re performing Oct. 18 and 19 at Tempe Center for the Arts.
FILE- In this undated file image provided by The Act nightclub, patrons enjoy a performance at the club at the Palazzo hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip. The loudest, shiniest thing at the gambling trade show in Las Vegas last week was not a flashy new slot machine or a novel brand of touchscreen poker but a humble confetti cannon. A poll conducted this year by the national gambling lobby found that 26 percent of casino-goers now eschew gambling. Many of them are heading to the mega-clubs that are indispensable for any self-respecting casino on the Las Vegas Strip. These clubs are competing to offer partiers novelties they’d never see at their local dance spot. (AP Photo/The Act Nightclub, Denise Truscello, File)
FILE - This Oct. 2, 2012 file photo, casino industry professionals test the newest slot machines on display at the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas. A poll conducted this year by the national gambling lobby found that 26 percent of casino-goers now eschew wagering, and the city's growing mega-clubs are threatening to become the most lucrative draw for a town built on betting. Las Vegas now boasts 21 of the country's 100 most profitable nightclubs, according to the trade publication Nightclub & Bar. The town also dominates the top 10 spots, with seven clubs bringing in more than $25 million a year. The other three clubs with earnings in the same range are LIV and Mango's Tropical Cafe in Miami Beach, and LAVO in New York City. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
There are some new faces at Phoenix Zoo.
The Hamilton football team was beat up physically heading into Friday night’s showdown against Mountain Pointe, as several key players sat out with injuries.
The Pride were far and away the most impressive team in the first half of the season. They began it with a win over nationally ranked Las Vegas Bishop Gorman, added a thumping of Chandler and, on Friday, outclassed Hamilton from start to finish to improve to 6-0. Mountain Pointe has a fantastic defense and a pair of offensive stars in running back Paul Lucas and wide receiver Jalen Brown. The Pride should run the table and head into the Division I state tournament as the top seed and title favorite.
Honorable mention: Desert Ridge, Queen Creek.
3. Salpointe Catholic...
2. Desert Ridge...
1. Mountain Pointe...
Westview is undefeated and currently sits as one of the five best teams in the state. Chandler moves up to No. 4 with last week's big win against Hamilton. Tucson Salpointe has been one of the most impressive teams in the state, and even though it is a Division II team, there was consideration of putting the Lancers second. Instead, Desert Ridge gets the nod behind its impressive defense and running game. Not surprisingly, Mountain Pointe is ranked as the best team in the state. The Pride has already knocked off Chandler, Hamilton and Las Vegas Bishop Gorman this season and is likely one of the top teams in the nation.
Ever since Paul Lucas dazzled the state with his electric 100-meter dash state title run last spring, he figured to be an asset for the Mountain Pointe football team.
Yes, it’s only late September. No, Hamilton and Mountain Pointe had no interest in playing one another during the regular season.
Curt Schilling famously downplayed the New York Yankees’ mystique and aura heading into the 2001 World Series.
Allegiant Air jets are parked at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas in this May 2013 file photo. Beginning Friday, Sept. 20, and continuing through at least Tuesday, Sept. 24, Allegiant Air cancelled or changed flights -- including many from Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport -- as it continued to overhaul emergency slides on its fleet of MD-80 aircraft. For more details or an update on Allegiant's efforts to resume a normal schedule, visit EastValleyTribune.com. [David Becker/The Associated Press file]
Boulder City, Nev. -- It’s easy to trade the wild ways of Las Vegas for the wilds of the nearby Colorado River: All it takes is a call to a boating outfitter and a federally-approved form of ID.
Today is Charlotte Williams’ 91st birthday, and while she’ll get plenty of gifts and love from her family and friends, the best present could come when the results of the AARP’s New Faces of 50+ Real People Model Search are announced next week.
This Hamilton-Mountain Pointe thingy next Friday night is a big game.
Here it is: The showdown everyone’s been waiting for. Hamilton is 4-0 but has struggled in its past two games and has various injuries to key players. Mountain Pointe, meanwhile, has been a buzzsaw, beating up nationally ranked Las Vegas Bishop Gorman and cruising past Chandler on its way to a 5-0 start. The Pride won’t have star linebacker/running back Wesley Payne because of a dislocated elbow, but still enters this game as the favorite. Hamilton has the best defensive line in the state, led by standout end Qualen Cunningham, and its championship pedigree should not be discounted. The Huskies’ biggest question mark is their offense. If they can’t move the ball effectively on the ground, it’s going to be very tough to win this game. Mountain Pointe has more explosiveness and rose to the challenge in its first two big matchups. The Pride lost to Hamilton in last year’s title game, but a win here would make them the favorites to capture that title in 2013...
Prediction: Mountain Pointe 20, Hamilton 10
-- Kyle Odegard...
The biggie, and it’ll be jam-packed on both sides’ bleachers. Let’s ignore the past results between these two teams because it has little bearing on this potential outcome, except to say there’s no chance Mountain Pointe is intimidated by Hamilton (which is key because lots of schools are even before they play the game). The Pride lost RB/LB Wesley Payne to injury last week and that’s a big deal for the Pride, but Hamilton (despite the roster numbers) has it worse for the moment with injuries. That’s a big factor here, because Hamilton’s offense wasn’t blowing people away when healthy. Mountain Pointe’s defense can come close to Hamilton’s physicality and size up front, and though the loss of Payne hurts MP on several levels, the Pride were still quite successful both running the ball and defensively against Chandler last week. Hamilton must force Mountain Pointe to drive the length of the field and get a couple turnovers to create extra chances and short fields for its offense. Of course it may happen, but however good you think Hamilton is or isn’t, it’s ludicrous to think a team with this defense and this well-coached is likely to lose by a substantial margin, and the Huskies are big fans of this “underdog” mentality this week (when was the last time Hamilton was considered an underdog against an Arizona school)? This one goes to Mountain Pointe in pretty close fashion, but if the Huskies are healthier by regular season’s end, all bets are off come possible playoff redux...
Prediction: Mountain Pointe 20, Hamilton 14
-- Mark Heller
This April 13, 2013 photo shows the Colorado River snaking through the Black Canyon near Boulder City, Nev. Watercraft must be transported through a federal security zone near the Hoover Dam by an authorized livery service, whether you bring your own gear, rent watercraft or sign up for a guided trip. But some of the guide companies will pick you up at your hotel on the Las Vegas Strip some 30 miles away first thing in the morning and have you in the water before lunch.
This April 14, 2013 photo shows kayakers at the Emerald Cave on the Arizona side of the Colorado River. The cave is one of the highlights of a trip on the river that begins with a guide company picking you up at a hotel on the Las Vegas Strip first thing in the morning, putting in near the Hoover Dam in a federal security zone that requires escort by an authorized livery service, and paddling through the Black Canyon.
Chandler has the look of a football team destined to make a deep run in the Division I postseason.