Several bits of news and information trickled in from across the East Valley high school sports scene the past couple weeks, so here’s a chance to catch up on the comings, goings, doings, and un-doings during the spring before tennis (this week) and then all other state tournaments begin in early May:
• Mesa district athletic director Steve Hogen led a proposal to use a shot clock in basketball tournaments, perhaps beginning with the VistaMesa.com Basketball Challenge next winter.
The Arizona Interscholastic Association and basketball rules committee met this week to further address the issue, one which has been a controversial topic in Arizona for several years. But it requires significant financial and technological upgrades at every high school gym in the state before it could ever be fully implemented to include regular season and playoff games.
Still, there’s a good chance the proposal ultimately could be approved for experimental use during tournaments for the immediate future.
In other basketball news, a request made from nearly 25 basketball coaches to participate in the Arizona Basketball Coaches Association Annual Senior and Underclassmen All-Star games on May 17 at Mesa Community College was denied by the AIA Executive Board.
• Similar to the shot clock debate, kids, coaches, All-Star games (of every sport), possible recruiting violations and “amateurism” rules have long been a sticky issue in Arizona high school sports, especially as football and basketball have grown in numbers and quality of play in the state the past decade and more opportunities to play in these showcases have subsequently emerged.
• Gilbert High School assistant principal and former Tigers’ athletic director Steve McDowell was hired as Gilbert School District’s athletic director this week. McDowell takes over the district’s athletics programs for Mark Cisterna, who left to be Maricopa’s district athletic director during the winter.
• Kudos to Mesquite senior Zach Green, who signed a letter of intent to play Division I basketball at Montana State this week. The 6-foot-4 Green averaged 17 points per game as a junior last season and was recruited by more than a dozen Division I colleges, but he missed most of his senior season with a broken foot suffered during the first game of the season at the Hoop Hall Tournament when a Corona del Sol player fell on his foot.
• Spring football can officially begin this upcoming week, and five East Valley schools will get their first, informal glimpse of the field for 2014 with new coaches: Basha (Gerald Todd), Corona del Sol (Cory Nenaber), Marcos de Niza (Sean Morin), Mesa (Scott Hare) and Poston Butte (Paul Moro).
Mark Heller is the East Valley Tribune assistant managing editor. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (480) 898-6576.