Basha High has hired Jeff Platt, a former college assistant coach, as its new boys basketball coach, athletic director Dick Baniszewski said Monday.
Platt, 29, replaces Matt Strom, who resigned at the end of this past season. Platt, who played at Tulsa for three years and Oklahoma Baptist for one, served as an assistant at Oklahoma Baptist and was a graduate assistant under Rob Evans at Arizona State for the 2001-02 season. Platt has worked most recently for the Arizona Premier Basketball Academy.
‘‘He has a great basketball background,’’ Baniszewski said. ‘‘His father’s been a college coach in Division I, and he has a lot of experience as a player and being around other programs as an assistant. I think he fits with what we are looking for here.’’
Basha was 9-16 in 2005-06, competing in the 5A Central Region.
Pulling a rabbit out of their hat: A week ago Mesa High’s baseball team was pretty much playing out the season. The Jackrabbits were 5-13-1. Too far back in the power rankings to make a legitimate run at the playoffs. The only card they had left to play was to win the 5A East Valley Region title, which brings an automatic state berth.
So far so good. Mesa is 4-0 in region play after sweeping a twogame series with Skyline and region co-favorite Red Mountain. The Jackrabbits, who have scored just 71 runs in 23 games (3.1 per game), still have life.
‘‘It’s been our pitching,’’ Mesa coach Steve Gourde said. ‘‘We haven’t been able to score many runs all season. But we have some pitching. If we catch the ball, we have a chance.’’
Seniors Rudy Owens and James Slusher have given the Jackrabbits a chance. Owens leads the region in strikeouts with 56 and notched a win and save last week. He beat Red Mountain 2-1 on Friday, handing the Mountain Lions their fourth straight region loss.
Pitching serves defending champs: Horizon entered Monday’s 5A nonregion game with Mountain View with some gaudy pitching stats from its top four pitchers.
Tim Alderson, Kevin Rhoderick, Evan Foreman and Conner Hulse are 15-5 with a combined ERA of 1.63. In 137 2 /3 innings they have issued 33 walks and struck out 193. Though currently in fourth place in the Desert Valley Region, they remain feared come playoff time because of their pitching.