Basha hoping to avoid another Gilbert upset
Basha is 5-0 and is headed for a showdown with Desert Ridge in two weeks. However, the Bears have a game against Gilbert on Friday, and if last year taught them anything, they won’t be overlooking the Tigers again.
Basha entered the 5A Division I playoffs last season as the No. 2 overall seed, but were upset by Gilbert 31-21 in the first round. Quarterback Kyle Duran only threw eight interceptions last year, and half came against the Tigers in that game.
More than anything, though, Basha coach Bernie Busken said it was a lack of mental preparation by his team that ultimately spelled doom.
“We had some people that didn’t play well,” he said. “They didn’t think it was an important game.”
Busken said that shouldn’t be the case this week, as the Bears are looking forward to the matchup.
Duran has been very impressive on the year with 1,363 passing yards, nine touchdowns, two interceptions and a completion percentage of 65.7 percent.
“He’s about twice as good as he was last year,” Busken said. “His leadership’s better. His decision-making is better. His understanding of the offense is a lot better. He’s just throwing a really good ball.”
Basha’s biggest concern would seem to be its defense, as the team’s 105 points allowed is the most among Division I teams with four or more victories.
When asked if it was a legitimate concern or if late scores in blowouts were artificially inflating the numbers, Busken said it was a little of both. Overall, though, he seemed pleased with the defense, particularly coming off a shutout of Highland on Friday.
“Our defense is playing well,” Busken said. “We run well and we hit well.”