Mesa Dobson High is still trying to find a successor to Tom DeMassa as its football coach.
"We'll keep plugging away," Mesa district athletic director Steve Hogen said, confirming Thursday that Mesa Desert Ridge coach Jeremy Hathcock had turned down an offer from the school and decided to stay at Desert Ridge. Scottsdale Notre Dame coach Scott Bemis also received an offer but declined.
Gilbert High is also finalizing its field to succeed Jesse Parker as coach. Sources indicated coach Alex Jacobson of Jordan High (Sandy, Utah) may be among the finalists for the Gilbert job as well as Dobson's unfilled opening. Jacobson has spent the better part of the decade at Jordan High as head coach where the Beetdiggers have four straight winning seasons and employ the spread offense. Jacobson also was an assistant coach at Jordan in mid-through late 1990's before becoming head coach at Orem High.
Role reversal at Hamilton: There's been a reversal of fortunes when it comes to basketball at Chandler Hamilton this month.
Hamilton's boys team was struggling as December came to an end. The girls squad was shining.
Now as January comes to a close, it's the other way around.
Since play resumed following the holiday break Jan. 6, Hamilton's boys are 6-2. They were 7-6 prior to Jan. 6. Boys coach Kevin Hartwig's squad is 3-1 in Fiesta Region play and tied for first heading into Friday's night's game with Gilbert Highland.
Hamilton's girls were 11-1 before Jan. 6, but are 3-5 since and have dropped five of their last six games. All five losses are to Fiesta Region opponents. The Lady Huskies are in last place in the Fiesta at 0-5.
"I was talking with Kevin the other day about it," Hamilton girls coach Jeff Kain said. "They've had two or three last-second shots to win and had one last-second shot that forced an overtime that they ended up winning. I asked him to spread those around a little. Loan us one."
Down to the wire: With two weeks left in 4A-II East Sky Region play, four teams are within two losses of first place. Queen Creeks sits alone in first but is closely followed by Chandler Seton (one loss behind), and Gilbert Perry, Phoenix Arcadia and Tempe (all two losses behind).
"This is my fourth year and I don't ever remember it being this close," Queen Creek coach Troy Gibson said.
The Bulldogs play at Arcadia on Friday, a squad it beat by two points on Jan. 6. If Queen Creek wins that game, it's in great shape to take home the region crown. The Bulldogs finish up with games against Scottsdale Coronado and Gilbert Higley, two teams they have beaten handily earlier this season.
If Arcadia beats Queen Creek, expect a wild finish.
"(The standings) are on our white board in our locker room," Gibson said. "Every win we get we put it on the board. The kids are well aware."
Queen Creek has never won a region title in basketball.
Conger sitting out: Mesa Mountain View guard/forward Brittany Conger missed Tuesday's game against Mesa Westwood and likely won't play Friday when the Toros host Mesa Red Mountain.
Mountain View coach Henry Bribiescas said Conger is still feeling the effects of an injured knee at the Nike II tournament in late December in Chandler. Bribiescas said he hopes to see Conger back in action next week.
Down to wire for Coyotes: Mesa Skyline's bid to qualify for the 5A-II girls state soccer tournament comes down to a regulation game Friday against Pima Region foe Phoenix Pinnacle and the completion of a tie game with Yuma Kofa on Saturday.
Skyline is currently 15th in the 5A-II power rankings with a 5-5 record. The top 16 schools qualify for the state tournament. The Metro II champion, however, is going to finish below the top 16 teams in the power rankings. Whatever Phoenix school that ends up being (Camelback, North or Carl Hayden) gets an automatic berth and will bump the school which actually ends up No. 16. Skyline needs to at least hold on to the 15th spot or move up to qualify.
Skyline and Kofa tied earlier this season, but have to play off that tie Saturday with penalty kicks at Peoria Sunrise Mountain High School. That will take place prior to Kofa playing Sunrise Mountain in a makeup game Saturday at 2 p.m. at Sunrise Mountain. The Saturday games will finish up the 5A-II season and allow final state tournament berths to be set late Saturday for the start of the state tournament on Wednesday.