Parity reigns early in boys hoops season
The Corona del Sol boys basketball team lost its third game of the season last year and then reeled off 30 in a row to win the state title, so maybe another program will follow a similar path.
But it’s been a rocky start for several of the contending teams in the East Valley thus far.
Preseason Nos. 1 and 2 in Division I — Dobson and Mesa — both lost their season openers. No. 3 Pinnacle survived with a 67-65 win over Desert Vista to start its year. No. 4 Corona del Sol has lost to No. 7 Gilbert, which lost to Mesa. No. 5 Desert Mountain lost to Laveen Cesar Chavez. No. 8 Mountain View lost to Marcos de Niza and No. 10 Chaparral lost twice.
That’s right, seven of the top eight East Valley teams have already dropped a game in the first 10 days of the season.
In Division II, No. 1 Paradise Valley lost to Desert Mountain, and while Poston Butte ascended to No. 1 with an early win over Dobson, it was upset by unranked Combs on Tuesday.
Some of these losses have come to fellow top teams, while others can be blamed on tired legs, injuries, or early-season issues.
However, there’s no question parity could become a strong theme this year. Dobson is without star small forward Kodi Justice because of a broken foot, and when he returns the Mustangs could ascend back to the team to beat, but that’s no easy conclusion.
It seems like there is a long list of schools which have the capacity to win — or lose — on a given night.
Corona del Sol and Pinnacle distanced themselves as the best teams in Division I early on last season.
Will certain teams do the same, or will this parity surface up to and through the state tournament?