Class 1A state basketball tournament outlooks - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

Class 1A state basketball tournament outlooks

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Posted: Thursday, February 10, 2011 5:11 pm | Updated: 4:01 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

1A Boys

When:  Feb. 11-19

Friday’s first round schedule:  9 a.m. — Orme vs. Valley Union; El Capitan vs. Veritas. 1:30 p.m. — Valley Lutheran vs. St. David; Mogollon vs. Duncan; 4:30 p.m. — St. Gregory vs. San Pasqual; Tanque Verde vs. Joy Christian. 6 p.m. — Fort Thomas vs. St. Michael’s. 7:30 p.m. — Gilbert Christian vs. Rock Point.

Where:  First two rounds at neutral sites; quarterfinals, semifinals and title game at Tim’s Toyota Center (Prescott Valley).

Favorite:  Gilbert Christian — The Knights were dominant last season on their way to the 1A title and have been just as good this year. Gilbert Christian is 22-3 on the season, with its only losses coming to 5A teams Chandler and Central and a team from Oregon. Connor Patterson, Logan Fougnies and Sam Jones lead the way for the unquestioned favorite in 1A. The Knights did have a midseason coaching change, but it hasn’t seemed to affect them.

Dark horse:  Veritas Prep — Veritas played well all season but stumbled down the stretch, settling for the No. 4 seed out of the East. It will take on North No. 1 seed El Capitan in the first round, followed by a possible second-round game against Tanque Verde if both teams can advance that far.

Breakdown:  Gilbert Christian is the favorite based on last year’s result and solid play this season, but Orme is an interesting challenger. The Warriors are 17-0 this season and are on the opposite side of the bracket from Gilbert Christian, so a title game matchup could happen. Orme has won every game except one by double digits this season. St. Gregory, Valley Lutheran and Tanque Verde could also be in the mix.

1A Girls

When:  Feb. 11-19

Friday’s first round schedule:  10:30 a.m. — Salt River vs. Seligman; Patagonia vs. Bagdad. 12 p.m. — Salome vs. Green Fields; Valley Lutheran vs. St. Augustine. 3 p.m. — Valley Union vs. Joy Christian; Joseph City vs. Duncan. 6 p.m. — Gilbert Christian vs. Northland Prep. 7:30 p.m. — St. Michaels vs. Fort Thomas.

Where:  First two rounds at neutral sites; quarterfinals, semifinals and title game at Tim’s Toyota Center (Prescott Valley).

Favorite:  Gilbert Christian — The Knights finished the regular season 23-2, and only one of those losses came to a 1A team. Gilbert Christian is the top seed from the East region and finished with the top power point total in 1A. The Knights haven’t lost since Jan. 18, but there have been some close calls along the way.

Dark horse:  Fort Thomas — The Apaches finished as the No. 3 seed in the East region, but went 19-7 on the year and gave Gilbert Christian all it could handle a couple times. Fort Thomas lost to the Knights by only three points in the opening round of the region tournament, and also played them within seven points earlier in the year. The Apaches have wins over Patagonia and Salt River on their resume as well.

Breakdown:  Defending 1A champion Salt River was the only team in the division to defeat Gilbert Christian in the regular season, but also lost two other times to the Knights. Patagonia and Fort Thomas should also be in the mix. Gilbert Christian’s record is good, but the Knights have been involved in quite a few competitive games. It seems like they are small favorites heading into the tournament, although several other teams have a chance at the title.

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