Injury updates heading into boys D-I state tournament
A few of the top teams in Division I boys basketball have been dealing with injuries to their key players and hope to have them healthy as the state tournament begins either Thursday or Saturday.
* Hamilton sophomore forward James Sosinski sprained his ankle in the section championship game against Corona del Sol and missed the final quarter and a half. He hasn’t practiced since, and at this point coach Kevin Hartwig is unsure if he will be back for the team’s second round game against either Mountain View or Glendale Mountain Ridge. Luckily for the Huskies, they picked up a first-round bye so Sosinski has until Saturday to recuperate.
The promising big man leads the team with averages of 11.1 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game. If the favored Toros win their game on Thursday, Sosinski’s availability would be crucial because Mountain View boasts star junior Payton Dastrup, who is the best forward in the East Valley.
* Gilbert point guard Anthony Bryant suffered a concussion when he ran into a brick wall while saving a loose ball on Feb. 1 against Mountain Pointe. He missed the final three quarters of that contest, which Gilbert lost, and didn’t play in the section tournament last week, in which the Tigers beat Buena but lost to Hamilton in the semifinals.
Bryant averages 7.7 points, 3.1 assists and 1.8 steals per game.The 5-foot-10 junior was cleared to practice Monday and will be ready to go for Thursday’s first-round matchup against No. 22 Desert Vista, coach Jay Caserio said. The loss to Hamilton dropped Gilbert from the top-8 in the power rankings, so now the Tigers must play one more game than most of the contenders. However, the return of Bryant has given the team a boost.
“The guys are really happy to have him back,” Caserio said.
* Chaparral forward Joe Boyd has been out since a Jan. 22 game against Desert Mountain with a knee injury. Boyd is committed to Drake and averages 10.5 points and 8.8 rebounds on the season, but his availability for the postseason is in doubt.
“My main concern is his health and capabilities moving forward,” coach Daniel Peterson said in an email. “We are hopeful for the best, but are fully prepared to compete at the highest level with every member of our varsity squad. Sorry I can’t be of more help, but we just don’t know right now. Sure would help me to have a 6-foot-9 all-around player available to play.”
The Firebirds are the No. 6 seed in the tournament and have a first-round bye. They will face off against the Desert Vista-Gilbert winner in the second round.