Class 4A basketball state semifinals
Thursday’s schedule: 3:30 p.m. — Prescott vs. Apollo. 5 p.m. — Dysart vs. Shadow Mountain. (Games at Jobing.com Arena)
Wednesday’s schedule (all games at Jobing.com Arena): 3:30 p.m. — Cactus vs. Seton Catholic. 5 p.m. — Thunderbird vs. Flagstaff.
Outlook: Seton Catholic was the favorite coming into the tournament and hasn’t disappointed, winning its first two games by 21 and 28 points. The Sentinels have one of the best players in the state in Theresa Wirth and experience after winning last year’s title. The competition ramps up in the semifinals against Cactus. Flagstaff won its first two games easily and is expected to advance to the title game from the top half of the bracket.
Thursday’s schedule (all games at Jobing.com Arena): 6:30 p.m. — Saguaro vs. Peoria. 8 p.m. — Nogales vs. Raymond Kellis.
Outlook: Saguaro has the longest winning streak in 4A-I at 14 games and is playing at a very high level. The Sabercats had no problems in the first two rounds, dispatching Moon Valley and Sabino by an average of 23.5 points. Next up is Peoria in the semifinals. Saguaro beat the Panthers 66-50 to end the regular season, although Peoria’s best player, Dewayne Russell, was suspended for the contest and will be back for this matchup. Raymond Kellis is the favorite to make the title game on the other side of the bracket.
Wednesday’s schedule (all games at Jobing.com Arena): 6:30 p.m. — Tempe vs. Thunderbird. 8 p.m. — Desert Edge vs. Amphitheater.
Outlook: Tempe pulled off the tournament’s biggest upset thus far by defeating No. 2 Arcadia in the quarterfinals, 59-58, on a late lay-in by guard Jordan Baker. Tempe will face off with a Thunderbird team that is 21-6 this season and defeated Verrado and Paradise Valley to get this far. Tucson Amphitheater has been rolling all year behind the backcourt play of Tim Derksen and Lester Medford and are the favorites to win the title.