Prestigious boys basketball tournaments begin Wednesday
Two big-time boys basketball tournaments — the VisitMesa.com Basketball Challenge and McClintock Holiday Shootout — begin Wednesday, and while the games don’t count for power points, many of the top teams in the state begin to elevate their play during this four-day stretch.
Corona del Sol made its mark last season at the VMBC with a 4-0 record and went on to win the Division I state championship. Pinnacle was the second-best Arizona team at the prestigious tournament and made the state semifinals.
The action runs through Saturday, culminating in a championship game at McClintock and a high-profile pairing of the best teams at the VisitMesa.com tournament.
The Aztecs were already seen as the No. 1 team in the state heading into last year’s tournaments and further drove home the point by playing well despite the absence of big men Avery Moss and Andrus Peat. This season, the road to the state title seems wide open, and multiple teams have the ability to emerge.
East Valley teams playing in the VisitMesa.com Basketball Challenge are Red Mountain, Pinnacle, Gilbert Christian, Desert Vista, Dobson, Mountain View, Corona del Sol and Gilbert. Red Mountain faces San Diego Hoover at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, followed by Desert Vista-Lexington (S.C.) at 1 p.m., Pinnacle vs. Gilbert Christian at 2:30 p.m., Dobson vs. West Hollywood (Calif.) Pacific Hills at 4 p.m., Mountain View vs. Mercer Island (Wash.) at 5:30 p.m., Corona del Sol vs. Waterloo Collegeiate Insititute (Canada) at 7 p.m. and Gilbert against Toledo (Ohio)St. John’s Jesuit at 8:30 p.m. All games are played at Mountain View.
The East Valley contingent at McClintock is Saguaro, Campo Verde, Marcos de Niza, Higley, Highland, Chandler, McClintock, Brophy, Desert Ridge and Poston Butte.
Wednesday’s action begins with Campo Verde vs. Saguaro at 10 a.m., followed by Laveen Betty Fairfax vs. Marcos de Niza at 11:30 a.m., Higley vs. Highland at 2:30 p.m., Phoenix Carl Hayden vs. Chandler at 4 p.m., Casa Grande vs. McClintock at 5:30 p.m., Desert Ridge vs. Poston Butte at 7 p.m and Brophy vs. Phoenix Maryvale at 8:30 p.m.
Brophy is the defending champion. All games are played at McClintock.