The 6-foot-2, 190-pound senior averaged 30 points, 10.5 rebounds and five steals to lead Phoenix Arcadia to East Sky Region road victories over Tempe and Scottsdale Coronado.
Ward sank the deciding basket in the final seconds of a 78-75 win over the Buffaloes on Tuesday, then came up with a 33-point, 14-rebound effort Friday in a 65-58 victory that moved the Titans into a first-place tie with the Dons.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
Holding their own: Scottsdale Desert Mountain is doing a capable job of moving up from 5A-II to 5A-I this season. Coach Todd Fazio’s squad, the 5A-II champ last year, is 12-7 with three key players back from last year’s title run. The Wolves were 21-11 when they hoisted the championship trophy last March.
Senior forward Kyle Smith, who averaged 13 points and seven rebounds last season, is up in both categories (16.9 and 9.8, respectively). Senior forward Danny Franz is this year’s top scorer at 17.9 and is adding 8.5 rebounds. Guard Kolby Wagner chips in at 13.1 ppg. Franz and Wagner were bench players last year. So far this month the 12-7 Wolves have wins over Scottsdale Horizon and Mesa Mountain View. Desert Mountain is currently in a three-way tie for eighth in the power rankings.
Mesa High’s Aaron Fuller isn’t a Division I signee yet, but that should come in the next couple months as his stock rises with solid play every night.
Fuller, a 6-7 senior forward, is averaging 23.9 points a game and 11.1 rebounds. He poured in a school-record 46 points Tuesday night in the Jackrabbits’ win over Mesa Westwood. That broke the old mark of 44 set in 1972 by Mike Angel.
“People have been afraid of his size,” Burcar said. “A lot of them aren’t sure if he fits the 3 or 4. There is a lot of interest from mid-majors in the Midwest and Mountain West. Most of the schools can’t believe he’s still out there. I sense that Michigan and UConn are sincere about their interest. Michigan doesn’t care about position. They just want basketball players. Is he skilled enough? No doubt.”
Don’t miss: Top-ranked Gilbert Highland (3-0 Fiesta Region) visits Gilbert (2-0 Fiesta) for the top spot in the region. In 5A-II Pima play, Mesa Desert Ridge (1-1) travels to Tempe Marcos de Niza (1-1) as the teams try to remain close to region leader Phoenix Pinnacle (3-0).