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Pusch Ridge Christian\u2019s tennis team should be riding high this week.

The Lions\u2019 boys finished the regular season with a 15-0 record, and hold the No. 2 seed in the Division II state tournament starting Tuesday. Pusch Ridge\u2019s girls went 9-6 \u2014 and while they missed the postseason, they more than doubled last year\u2019s win total.

But instead of cheers, there have been an awful lot of tears.

Coach David Towne will retire from Pusch Ridge after 15 years with the school.

Towne, the principal of Pusch Ridge\u2019s middle school, will become the director of professional development at the Leman Academies of Excellence.

The Star caught up with Towne this week to talk about his favorite memories at Pusch Ridge:

Getting started

Pusch Ridge started girls tennis in 2004. Towne assembled a team of kids who had never played before, and \u2014 perhaps predictably \u2014 went 0-16.

\u201cI was in the hallways begging girls to join the team,\u201d Towne said. \u201cWe lost every match and it wasn\u2019t even close, but we had fun.\u201d

Three years later, several freshmen-turned-seniors won the state title.

\u201cThat was really rewarding,\u201d Towne said. \u201cIt was amazing. They stuck with it.\u201d

Building relationships

Towne loves creating and nurturing relationship with people. It\u2019s what makes his new job exciting \u2014 and what will make leaving, in his words, \u201cso gut-wrenching.\u201d

Towne has attended the weddings of former players and has officiated the marriage of two former players.

Joey Lodge, a lawyer and one of Towne\u2019s former players at Flowing Wells, visits once a week to watch and support the Lions.

\u201cThere\u2019s a little boy out there named after me because of the influence of tennis,\u201d Towne said.

\u201cBefore every match I ask the kids, \u2018Why are we out here?\u2019 It\u2019s got to be more than tennis. It\u2019s life, community, culture, getting to know other people, dealing with the struggles of life.\u201d

State championships

Pusch Ridge\u2019s boys won their first state title in 2011, upsetting Sedona Red Rock, Fountain Hills and Thatcher as underdogs.

Some of Towne\u2019s fondest memories are coaching his two daughters to individual and team titles. Mya won a singles title in 2005 and team titles in 2007 and 2008. Sami won a team title in 2010.

In 2013, Michael Houser \u2014 the Lions\u2019 No. 3 singles player \u2014 was trailing 5-0, and was serving down love-40 in the state tournament. Houser came back to win that game \u2014 and six more \u2014 to win the second second set 6-5.

Houser went on to win the third set to help the Lions capture a state team title.

\u201cThat is a memory I\u2019ll always have. Can you imagine?\u201d Towne said. \u201cIt\u2019s been a great ride.\u201d

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Justice Summerset didn\u2019t have to answer any questions about where he was going to college when he took a seat on the stage of a crowded auditorium at Mountain View on Wednesday morning.

The 6-foot-3-inch senior high jumper donned a cardinal Arizona Wildcats shirt and Jason Terry-inspired \u201cCATS\u201d socks. But it was the smile on Summerset\u2019s face that showed he was more than set on keeping Drachman Stadium his home.

\u201cI couldn\u2019t ask for anything better because I\u2019ve been there, I\u2019m comfortable with it, and I\u2019m excited,\u201d said Summerset, who accepted a full scholarship with the UA track team. \u201cIt\u2019s really a blessing to be able to stay here for another four years.\u201d

Summerset is plenty familiar with the UA\u2019s track facilities. He has practiced there numerous times over the last six years as a member of the Tucson Elite Athletic Club. He has also competed at the venue in a handful of high school meets, including last Friday\u2019s Mario Castro Invitational, where he cleared 7 feet for the third time this season.

The college choice was just a small factor in Summerset\u2019s decision: He was one of Tucson\u2019s top football players over the last four years and had the potential to earn a Division I scholarship.

Some track coaches were hesitant to pursue Summerset because they weren\u2019t sure which direction he was going to go.

Summerset wondered, too.

\u201cIt was really tough because I\u2019ve been playing football since I can remember,\u201d Summerset said. \u201cIt was a tough decision but it came down to what I could see myself doing for most of my life. I think track is definitely the right decision for me.\u201d

The opportunity to perhaps someday represent the United States at the Olympic Games also helped Summerset in his decision.

\u201cOver and over again, you think about things like that, but you never really imagine yourself with \u2018USA\u2019 across the chest,\u201d said Robert Summerset, Justice\u2019s father. \u201cWhen I look at my son, I know he has the potential one day to possibly do that.\u201d

The decision to become a Wildcat was relatively easy. Summerset\u2019s family lives in Tucson and his sister already attends the UA, so they\u2019ll be able to come to his practices and meets whenever they like.

Arizona State, UCLA and Washington showed interest, but Arizona was the front-runner all along. Summerset will compete in the high jump but could also run on the 1,600-meter relay team down the road.

Summerset\u2019s club coach, Janet Harvey, remembers the first time she heard about him, when he was just starting middle school.

\u201cHis dad told me, \u2018I have a kid who jumped 5-foot-2; he\u2019s really good,\u2019\u2009\u201d said Harvey, wife of UA track coach Fred Harvey. \u201cPeople tell me that all the time, and it doesn\u2019t always turn out to be. But, the moment I saw him jumping, I said, \u2018Yeah, I\u2019ll take him.\u2019\u2009\u201d

Now Summerset is the state\u2019s best high jumper and is among eight individuals across the country who have cleared 7 feet this spring. He\u2019ll go for that height again on Saturday at Mountain View\u2019s Southern Arizona Championships in his final home meet.

\u201cI might get caught up in the moment and just take a minute to look around,\u201d Summerset said. \u201cI don\u2019t know if there will be any tears or anything.\u201d

Summerset also has a chance to break the high school state record of 7-2\u00bc, a mark held by his future college teammate in Bryant O\u2019Georgia. The two have talked about Summerset overtaking the record; O\u2019Georgia jokes that he doesn\u2019t want him to get it.

One of the keys to Summerset\u2019s success this season has been his socks, the same pair he wore for Wednesday\u2019s signing ceremony. He has worn them on all three times he has cleared 7 feet.

\u201cEvery time I wear them, as soon as I get home I throw them in the wash because I don\u2019t know when will be the next time I\u2019ll need to wear them,\u201d Summerset said. \u201cThey\u2019ve become pretty lucky.\u201d

You can be sure Summerset will be wearing them in two weeks at the state meet, which opens May 4 at Mesa Community College. The Division II boys high jump finals are scheduled for May 7.

Summerset has come close to winning in each of the last three seasons but has come up short. He was the Division I state runner-up as a freshman (6-6), finished fifth in Division II as a sophomore (6-4) and tied for second a year ago (6-6).

\u201cI look at it like I don\u2019t have any more chances to get a ring so I\u2019m definitely taking this seriously,\u201d Summerset said. \u201cComing up short, it hurts. I just feel like it would be a good statement to end my high school career and hopefully I can get some good momentum going into college.\u201d

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When Emily Lopez takes the court this weekend, her obvious goal will be to win and advance.

But, unlike many of her opponents, the Amphitheater sophomore tennis player has different long-term aspirations \u2013 the idea of playing professional sports is not the ultimate goal.

\u201cMy goal is to play college tennis,\u201d Lopez said. \u201cI really like playing tennis but I really want to do something different with my life.

\u201cI am debating going into the medical field but I\u2019m also into music too; I just don\u2019t want my parents to have to worry about paying for college.\u201d

When Lopez finally does head off to college in a few years, there\u2019s a chance she\u2019ll have at least one state championship to her name. She made a splash at the girls Division III singles state tournament last season, advancing to the quarterfinals as a freshman.


CLICK HERE to view Friday's first-round matchups in the singles and doubles tournaments with Southern Arizona players.


Now Lopez holds the No. 3 seed heading in the tournament this year, which gets underway Friday at Paseo Racquet Center in Glendale. The goal will be playing again next weekend, as she did last year.

\u201cShe is a fantastic player,\u201d Amphi coach Dick Bemis said. \u201cI can count on her, no matter what the score is, that she is going to fight. She is a real winner; she really really wants to win.

\u201cShe\u2019s a good kid and the other kids feed off of her. They see the competitiveness and the drive which helps.\u201d

Bemis is in his first season with the Panthers but he came in knowing plenty about Lopez: He was kindergarten physical education teacher at Holloway Elementary School

Lopez began playing competitive tennis in the sixth grade and has fallen deeper in love with the sport since then.

\u201cWhen I was younger my parents would put me in different sports,\u201d Lopez said. \u201cI did dance, gymnastics, soccer and I just kept asking to play tennis.\u201d

Along with the time that Lopez spends with the Amphi tennis team, she also has private lessons that provide extra help and skill.

There are also many sources of confidence and support for Lopez the first being her parents, Antonio and Jessica, who attend all of her matches.

Perhaps Lopez\u2019s biggest inspiration and close confidant is her sister Kassandra, who went on to become a full scholarship athlete on Utah\u2019s gymnastics team.

Lopez believes having her sister as a source of information is key to her future success.

\u201cI have someone to look up to,\u201d Lopez said. \u201cIf I have any questions about college she can help me because her college career is almost done.

\u201cShe encourages me too, she\u2019s my sister and understands me more than my parents do.\u201d

Having faced the state championship tournament as a freshman, Lopez remembers the mixture of emotions she faced going into that competition.

\u201cI was excited and scared, because I was afraid I wasn\u2019t going to do well and it was my first time,\u201d Lopez said. \u201cI always felt that someone was going to beat me because I was a freshman.\u201d

However, now with the experience of having played in the state tournament Lopez believes that she is better prepared for this year\u2019s tournament.

\u201cIt feels much more comfortable.\u201d Lopez said. \u201cAt the beginning of the season I wasn\u2019t comfortable with my strokes, but now I feel much better with them than I ever did as a freshman.\u201d

"}, {"id":"2219daec-7eda-5db5-9090-ab342729d211","type":"article","starttime":"1461261600","starttime_iso8601":"2016-04-21T11:00:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1472604010","priority":35,"sections":[{"highschool":"sports/highschool"},{"tennis":"sports/high-school/tennis"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Several Southern Arizona tennis players set for individual tourneys","url":"http://tucson.com/sports/highschool/article_2219daec-7eda-5db5-9090-ab342729d211.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/sports/highschool/several-southern-arizona-tennis-players-set-for-individual-tourneys/article_2219daec-7eda-5db5-9090-ab342729d211.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/sports/highschool/several-southern-arizona-tennis-players-set-for-individual-tourneys/article_2219daec-7eda-5db5-9090-ab342729d211.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":1,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":1,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Chuck Constantino\nArizona Daily Star","prologue":"Singles and doubles championships kick off Friday around the Phoenix area.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":["#tweet"],"customProperties":{},"images":[{"id":"f7770a88-78db-5807-a198-6374e883406f","description":"","byline":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"620","height":"349","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/77/f7770a88-78db-5807-a198-6374e883406f/57128e118cdb0.image.jpg?resize=620%2C349"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"56","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/77/f7770a88-78db-5807-a198-6374e883406f/57128e119aa97.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"169","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/77/f7770a88-78db-5807-a198-6374e883406f/57128e118cdb0.image.jpg?resize=300%2C169"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"576","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/77/f7770a88-78db-5807-a198-6374e883406f/57128e118cdb0.image.jpg"}}}],"youtube":[{"id":"fc152b0d-4c87-5b49-9f9f-1598cc175e86","starttime":"1460675700","starttime_iso8601":"2016-04-14T16:15:00-07:00","title":"Gaona's Gauntlet: DG tries sand volleyball \u2014 and digs it","description":"Daniel heads to the beach and challenges Ironwood Ridge to a sand volleyball match.","byline":"","video_id":"bFze821zPlk"}],"revision":7,"commentID":"2219daec-7eda-5db5-9090-ab342729d211","body":"

Here's a look at Friday's first-round matchups for Southern Arizona tennis players in the singles and doubles state tournaments:

Boys Division II Individual Tournaments

First-round matches begin Friday at 8:30 a.m. at Scottsdale Ranch Park

Second-round matches begin Friday at 1:30 p.m.\u00a0at Scottsdale Ranch Park

Third-round matches begin Saturday at 12:30 p.m. at\u00a0Paseo Racquet Center

Friday's first-round matches with local players

Singles \u2013 No. 1 Parikh, SAL, vs. Ramirez, CG; Haws, BUE, vs. Whitten, APOL; Najera, TUC, vs. Wendt, PCD; Ton, NOG, vs. Vega, AF; Daniel, SKY, vs. Smith, IR; Graham, MOON, vs. Choffin, MAR; Bailey, TOLL, vs. Ray, DOUG; Redlin, SAH, vs. Jiang, CF; No. 3 Parks, PR, vs. Vitez, LJ; Durant, MV, vs. Boyer, CIB; Samuel, SMA, vs. Colwell, SAB; McCune, AJ, vs. Pan, RIN; No. 7 Turner, BRAD, vs. Lopez, CDO;

Doubles \u2013 Garcia/Chavez, NOG, vs. James/Rowe, TB; Black/Unruh, CDO, vs. Luna/Evangellis, LJ; Ross/Reyes, KOFA, vs. Holden/Ruffo, BUE; Ray/Seratto, DOUG, vs. Takada/Singh, EF; Liu/Smithers, DOB, vs. Manriquez/Miller, TUC; Bilyk/Macor, ND, vs. Curtis/Kanizsai, SAH; Contreras/Tomczyk, WV, vs. No. 6 Grammond/Bristol, PR; No. 7 Wang/Rumel, RIN, vs. Polston, GR; Chintis/St. Peter, MV, vs. Estrada/Lei, CC; Parry/Reed, MAR, vs. Flannery/Hernandez, MING; Ramos/Beltran, SAG, vs. Garcia/Morales, YUMA/ Bernabe/Pastor, IR; Kelly/Jenkins, SAB, vs. Lee/Lee, CF.

Girls Division II Individual Tournaments

First-round matches begin Friday at 8:15 a.m. at\u00a0Phoenix Tennis Center

Second-round matches begin Friday at 3:30 p.m. at\u00a0Phoenix Tennis Center

Third-round matches begin Saturday at 11 a.m. at\u00a0Paseo Racquet Center

Friday's first-round matches with local players

Singles \u2013 No. 1 Cooke, ND, vs. Anaya, SAL; Felix, MAR, vs. Hughes, SAH; Rodriguez, SS, vs. Chance, WASH; Filier, CP/Ver Strat, WF vs. No. 8 Bhalla, IR; Zarin, SAB, vs. Te, MV; Liska, LH, vs. Cox, CDO; Anderson, GOLD, vs. No. 4 Chakraborty, CF; Ruiz, GLEN/Fleming, DYS, vs. No. 6 Oropeza, NOG; Maxfield, PR, vs. Pinon, DE; Blake, RAY, vs. Calia, BUE; Galluzi, MU, vs. Sklar, TUC; Cormier, DOUG, vs. Ariola, WC/Evangelis, MOON; Nikolaus, DR, vs. No. 2 Pesquiera, RIN.

Doubles \u2013 Arredondo/Ortiz, SS, vs. Goodsell/Carter, CG; Serrato/Hernandez, DOUG, vs. Kern/Milan, CIB; No. 5 Lopez/Villa, NOG, vs. Hensen/Coker, AJ/ Kai/Kai, YUMA; May/Lopez, CDO, vs. Trejo/Falcon, SAH; Brown/Roberts, BUE, vs. Thomas/Anderson, MESA; No. 3 Bernabe/Manheimer, IR, vs. Berti/Kisselbur, SAG; Whitely/Williams, MU, vs. Swanson/Valcke, SAL; Kelly/Marchant, MV, vs. Felix/Miller, MAR; Fetsis/Halvey, PR, vs. Ling/Ngo, DOB; Lembke/Conn-Min, FLAG, vs. Shafer/Haurque, TUC; Armer/Gallante, GW, vs. Lopez/Zhang, RIN; Fernando/Cerna, SAB, vs. No. 2 Watson/Zadro, CF.

Boys\u00a0Division III Individual Tournaments

First round-matches begin Friday at 8:15 a.m.\u00a0at\u00a0Paseo Racquet Center

Second-round matches begin at Friday at 6 p.m.\u00a0at\u00a0Paseo Racquet Center

Third-round matches begin Saturday at 3:30 p.m.\u00a0at\u00a0Paseo Racquet Center

Friday's first-round matches with local players

Singles \u2013 Morgan, CAT, vs. Thomas, VP; Ramos, COR/Dylan, BIS, vs. Sparks, GREG; Moreno, PUE, vs. Schrimpf, PAT; Garcia, SC, Alvarez, TV; Imanirumv, AMP, vs. No. 8 Gopakumar, SCP; No. 5 Cordova, WG, vs. Gordon, BOUR; Spinney, BEN, vs. Perea, SUP; Bastian, TOMB, vs. Hamilton, SET; McGuire, DC, vs. Diaz, MOR; Sotelo, CHO, vs. No. 4 Linskey, NLAND; Valenzuela, FW, vs. Kobs, TEM; Woodford, RS, vs. Hassan, DV; Vo Betty, FAIR, vs. Quintana, PV; Cruz, MIA, vs. Keele, SAHT;

Doubles \u2013 Bullow/Schaub, TOMB, vs. Urias/Pratt, ANT; Madlol/Mainali, CAT, vs. Steffen/Clausen, SCHR; No. 5 Padrukevi/Mainmen, GREG, vs. Camarena/Contreras, PUE; Dulaney/Van Dyke, PH, vs. McIntosh/Urcadez, PV; Altizer/McDaniels, TV, vs. Moyza Por/ Diaz, CHO; Smith/Huynh, AMP, vs. No. 4 Hockaday/Tackett, MIA; No. 3 Baker/Baker, DC, vs. Liddicoat/Reyes, SAHT; Coria/Bojorquez, HAY, vs. Robles/Jimenez, DV; No. 7 Vuong/Howard, BF, vs. Bussey/Fernandez, FW; Barraza/Childers, WILL, vs. Lizardi/Lopez, WG; Brito/Munoz, DYS, vs. Little/Wiegand, BEN.

Girls Division III Individual Tournaments

First-round matches begin Friday at 8:15 a.m.\u00a0at\u00a0Paseo Racquet Center

Second-round matches begin Friday at 3 p.m.\u00a0at\u00a0Paseo Racquet Center

Third-round matches begin Saturday at 2 p.m.\u00a0at\u00a0Paseo Racquet Center

Friday's first-round matches with local players

Singles \u2013 No. 1 Alety, RS, vs. Garard, SR; Vail, PC, Abdi, DV; Ingerson, TV, vs. Gibson, NWC; Carrillo, TEM, vs. Kirkpatrick, BEN; Dominguez, SL, vs. Connell, FW; No. 3 Lopez, AMP, vs. Bordelon, BF; Armenta, TOMB, vs. Followill, MIA; Clancy, CES, vs. Voigt, PV; Ruiz, COMB, vs. Orr, PUE; Stewart, VL, vs. Haliburton, SAHT; Fitzsimmons, WG, vs. Cap, FLOR; Maher, GREG, vs. Salaverri, CTRL; Finch, PEO, vs. Merrill, BEN.

Doubles \u2013 Menjivar/Stambolic, NWC, vs. Lopez/Haney, PV; Nysather/Shapiro, SCP, vs. Gomez/Gutierrez, WG; Hernandez/Ramirez, SMTN, vs. Alexander/Lizarraga, SR; Rodriguez/Rodriguez, FW, vs. Despain/Chen, PB; Bustamante/Ibarra, AMP, vs. No. 4 Merrill/Thoutt, BEN; No. 3 Blake/Smith, MIA, vs. Ceballos/Tarango, PUE; McGuire/Murphy, DC, vs. Sun/DeHoop, GREG; Arroyo/Mooney, COR, vs. Fonseca/Ambriz, SAHT; Driskill/Laurie, TV, vs. Ramirez/Bautista, ALH; Cruz/Rodriguez, DV, vs. Holcomb/Darza, PH; Carnahan/Nelson, SR, vs. Hansen/King, AZCP; Trejo/Rivera, WG, vs. No. 2 Swenson/Caylor, GREG.

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One of Tucson\u2019s most storied high school football programs is looking for a new coach for the second time in two months.

Kevin Kuhm has resigned from his new post at Sunnyside to return to Nogales, where he will serve as the school\u2019s athletic director and football coach. The 28-year-old Kuhm was hired by the Blue Devils in February to replace Glenn Posey, who stepped down after five seasons with the team.

\u201cI never wanted to leave Nogales and the timing was poor,\u201d said Kuhm, who is about to complete his master\u2019s degree in educational leadership through Northern Arizona University. \u201cNow I have the opportunity to serve Nogales student-athletes and I\u2019m looking forward to that.

\u201cIt\u2019s the next step in my career path in becoming a principal one day, and I get to be where I want to be and coach the kids I want to coach.\u201d

Sunnyside is coming off back-to-back state playoff appearances and has reached the postseason in 15 of the last l7 seasons. The Blue Devils won state championships in 2001 and 2003 under longtime coach Richard Sanchez.

Kuhm had hopes of getting Sunnyside back to that level when he stepped down as Nogales\u2019 football coach to take over the program. Kuhm said he was excited \u2014 but also reluctant \u2014 about the move, because he and his family have called Santa Cruz County home for the last several years.

The Virginia native spent two seasons at Rio Rico before moving on to Nogales. He led the Hawks to a 6-5 mark and their first state playoff appearance in 2013.

Kuhm\u2019s wife, Jessica, is a Nogales High School graduate and works in Rio Rico. The move to Tucson would have been complicated for them and their 2-year-old daughter. Kuhm couldn\u2019t turn down the opening at Nogales; the athletic director\u2019s job wasn\u2019t available when he left two months ago.

\u201cIt was the best decision for me and my family because we don\u2019t have to move,\u201d Kuhm said. \u201cIt\u2019s nice to know that I\u2019m going to be able to see my family on a daily basis, be a part of their lives and give them some stability, to know that we\u2019re going to be here for the long haul.\u201d

Sunnyside must act fast to find a new coach, with spring football looming and the season just a few months away. The Blue Devils host Pueblo on Aug. 26 in their first game.

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Pueblo baseball team came away with a big win Wednesday afternoon, when it knocked off three-time defending state champions Desert Christian 4-2 at home.

The win over the top-ranked Eagles likely locks up a section championship and signifies the continued rise of Pueblo\u2019s baseball program. The Warriors entered the game ranked seventh in Division IV and have three games left in the regular season.

\u201cThere\u2019s been a lot of hard work here,\u201d Pueblo coach Ray Camacho said. \u201cThis is my second year here and we want to keep it up. Last year we went through a lot of growing pains, and this year we are causing a lot of pain. This is a big win for us and a big win got our program.\u201d

Warriors posted a 7-13-2 record last season, but returned key players such as Isaias Lucero, Joseph Sullivan and team captain Frankie Gomez.

Even though Pueblo struggled last year, the players were anxious and ready to test themselves against a challenge like Desert Christian, which had won 53 straight power-point games.

\u201cWhen we saw they were on our schedule we knew it would be the biggest game of the season,\u201d Gomez said. \u201cAs soon as I saw their name I highlighted it, circled it on my calendar, and started taking notes. We wanted this game because we wanted to shock everybody.\u201d

Desert Christian went returned 11 players from last year\u2019s championship team. If that was not intimidating enough they were also riding the moment of a nine-game winning streak.

Pueblo\u2019s win is a sign that the team is headed in the right direction as the season winds down, with the state tournament set to begin next week.

\u201cWe\u2019re rolling right now, we are playing good team baseball,\u201d Camacho said. \u201cWe\u2019re getting ready for the playoffs, and at the right time we are gelling as a team. Even when we make mistakes, we pick each other up and that is what good teams do.

Things this season may not have started the way Camacho and his team would have hoped, with the Warriors winning one of their first six games. However, the team continued to improve and has everyone feeling confident heading into the playoffs.

\u201cI think we\u2019re ready for the playoffs, and we\u2019re going to be a tough out,\u201d Camacho said. \u201cWe have good pitching and the rest of the team is playing well.\u201d

Lucero has 61 strikeouts on the season in 38 innings and has an overall record of 4-1 and the Warriors have five players batting .400 or better.

This Pueblo team might be ready and primed for the postseason, but it is not something that the program is used to and something the players on this roster want to change.

\u201cThis was our goal from the very beginning,\u201d Gomez said. \u201cWe have the talent, we had nine seniors coming back, and were feeling good. This was our goal and we\u2019re just getting started.\u201d

Pueblo really is just getting started with nine underclassmen on the roster and impact players including Adrian Madero, who had to sit out this season after transferring from Cholla. The cupboard looks full and the future is bright.

\u201cAdrian couldn\u2019t be with us this year because he transferred, but he will be with us next year and we will be even stronger,\u201d Camacho said. \u201cHe is an outstanding student, an outstanding player, and an outstanding young man.\u201d

The victory over Desert Christian did not win a division or state championship, but certainly signifies a change in culture for the Warriors.

\u201cWe\u2019ve worked so hard all off season for this, all the workouts, all the extra miles, all the fun runs were for this,\u201d Gomez said. \u201cWe wanted this so bad because a lot of people didn\u2019t know about us, but I bet you they know who we are now.\u201d

"}, {"id":"76a92f6d-9fe7-5e17-94eb-c2f70b64d063","type":"article","starttime":"1461127500","starttime_iso8601":"2016-04-19T21:45:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1461129964","priority":35,"sections":[{"highschool":"sports/highschool"},{"volleyball":"sports/high-school/volleyball"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Mountain View keeps rolling with 'huge' win against Ironwood Ridge","url":"http://tucson.com/sports/highschool/article_76a92f6d-9fe7-5e17-94eb-c2f70b64d063.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/sports/highschool/mountain-view-keeps-rolling-with-huge-win-against-ironwood-ridge/article_76a92f6d-9fe7-5e17-94eb-c2f70b64d063.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/sports/highschool/mountain-view-keeps-rolling-with-huge-win-against-ironwood-ridge/article_76a92f6d-9fe7-5e17-94eb-c2f70b64d063.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By James Kelley\nSpecial to the Arizona Daily Star","prologue":"The four-set victory moved the Mountain Lions closer to a sure state tourney berth.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":["#tweet","#highschoolpick"],"customProperties":{"label":"VOLLEYBALL"},"images":[{"id":"43318218-b671-5dcf-ac70-e7d43d853e91","description":"","byline":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"620","height":"349","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/33/43318218-b671-5dcf-ac70-e7d43d853e91/57128d596e00d.image.jpg?resize=620%2C349"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"56","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/33/43318218-b671-5dcf-ac70-e7d43d853e91/57128d5978d32.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"169","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/33/43318218-b671-5dcf-ac70-e7d43d853e91/57128d596e00d.image.jpg?resize=300%2C169"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"576","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/33/43318218-b671-5dcf-ac70-e7d43d853e91/57128d596e00d.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":2,"commentID":"76a92f6d-9fe7-5e17-94eb-c2f70b64d063","body":"

Mountain View\u2019s boys volleyball team moved a step closer to its first state tournament appearance since 2011 on Tuesday night.

The Mountain Lions, ranked fifth in Division II, cruised to a 3-1 (25-19, 23-25, 25-15, 25-17) win against northwest-side rival No. 9 Ironwood Ridge, with the postseason just weeks away.

\u201cThis game is huge,\u201d said Mountain View first-year coach Lindsey Spivey. \u201cNot only for playoff rankings but morale, for the school\u2019s reputation \u2013 it\u2019s huge.\u201d

Senior outside hitter Griffin Whithed had 15 kills and three aces, junior Noah Elmer three blocks and junior setter Sean Losik 31 assists as Mountain View improved to 12-1 in power points matches.

Elmer said win is so big because it keeps their undefeated section record after the Mountain Lions went 6-11 last year.

The victory improved Mountain View\u2019s sectional record to 7-0 and moved them to two matches ahead of I-Ridge.

\u201cI think it\u2019s huge win,\u201d Losik said. \u201cLast year we lost to Tucson, we lost to Salpointe \u2013 both in three \u00ac\u2013 we lost to Ironwood in four, we lost to CDO in five and we have wins over all of them so far this year.

\u201cI think it just shows how hard we\u2019ve been working and how far we\u2019ve come from last year.\u201d

After winning the first set 25-19, Mountain View lost the second set 25-23. The Mountain Lions took the lead at 18-17 and tied it 22-22 before I-Ridge pulled away.

\u201cI think the difference was we got a little too confident and we let them in,\u201d Spivey said. \u201cThey were mad, they came back, fighting hard, just like any good team would and let them in just a little bit too far.\u201d

The Mountain Lions responded in the next set, leading by 23-12 at one point.

\u201cOur coach, kind of brought us together mentally and just said, \u2018You need to bring it together and serve-receives needed to be cleaned up\u2019 and that\u2019s where we got it cleaned up and that got us the win,\u201d Whithed said.

Mountain View has won nine regular season matches in a row and four in a row overall. It travels to play at No. 20 Catalina Foothills on Thursday.

\u201cI\u2019m so proud of these boys and they\u2019ve come so far from last year,\u201d Spivey said. \u201cBeing a first-year head coach in general is a little intimidating but to come out and just dominate the season, it\u2019s the most exciting thing I\u2019ve ever done my entire life.\u201d

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Favela","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"620","height":"365","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/29/129b7bef-bf16-5ca6-b772-b985c7a6ba7b/571577637009d.image.jpg?resize=620%2C365"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"58","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/29/129b7bef-bf16-5ca6-b772-b985c7a6ba7b/57157763814c8.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"177","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/29/129b7bef-bf16-5ca6-b772-b985c7a6ba7b/571577637009d.image.jpg?resize=300%2C177"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"603","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/29/129b7bef-bf16-5ca6-b772-b985c7a6ba7b/571577637009d.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":18,"commentID":"7850ef13-a9d9-55ba-9440-c34725d5053d","body":"

O.J. Favela and Sam Gelardi speak to each other on the phone pretty much daily, whether it\u2019s for scouting reports or to shoot the breeze.

Not leading up to their much-anticipated showdown.

Coach Favela and his Nogales baseball program beat Gelardi\u2019s Sahuarita squad 9-5 in eight innings Tuesday night, in a battle between two of the top teams in Division III. The Apaches rallied from a five-run deficit to win their 10th straight game.


CLICK HERE to view more photos from Tuesday night's game.


Bragging rights and significant postseason implications were on the line, but that\u2019s not all: The winner also took home a coveted rivalry trophy \u2013 a sombrero, rather.

\u201cUsually a couple of days before we'll part ways and be enemies for a few days,\u201d Favela said. \u201cHe's always calling me saying he wants his sombrero back.\u201d

The meaning Tuesday's game was even more significant than any other between Gelardi and Favela: This was first time the teams are in the same classification, let alone the same region with a section championship on the line.

\u201cThere are rivalries in town that just don't like each other, but this truly is a friendly rivalry,\u201d Gelardi said. \u201cWe look forward to this game every year.\u201d

Nogales and Sahuarita also met in the championship game in the AMSA Lancer Baseball Classic last month and the two could very well meet again in the upcoming Division III state tournament.

The Star caught up with both coaches prior to Tuesday's 'Game for the Sombrero' to find out more about the unique rivalry:

Bringing the culture

Gelardi used to teach and coach at Nogales middle school. He has remained close with Favela, even after he left in 2001.

\u201cI love that program, the kids and that culture they have in Nogales,\u201d said Gelardi, who took over Sahuarita\u2019s baseball program in 2006. \u201cI don't turn my back on my friends, so when I came here, I tried to bring that same culture here.\u201d

The coaches are so close that Favela's son played five years on Gelardi\u2019s club team and the two have traded pitchers throughout the fall and summer leagues. They also play together in the winter nationals tournament in Nogales.

Want to play for a burrito?

Once Gelardi saw he would be facing Favela and the Apaches for the first time in 2010, he tried to make things interesting.

\u201cHe wanted to play for a burrito,\u201d said Favela, who is in his 12th season as Nogales\u2019 coach. \u201cI told him that doesn't last too long.\u201d

That\u2019s when Rio Rico assistant coach Ralph Escobar went across the border to retrieve a donated sombrero from a retired Mariachi band. Just like that, the tradition was formed.

The hat, unaltered, is gold and green. There is a running tally of the series underneath the brim, with Nogales now holding a 6-3 advantage. Gelardi also likes to leave playful notes.

\u201cIt\u2019s a tribute to high school baseball, this is what it could be like every week,\u201d Gelardi said. \u201cBut these are relationships that are built through years, through mutual respect for the coaches, the players and this level of high play.\u201d

Guarding the sombrero

After the game, the sombrero goes home with the winning team and stays in its clubhouse for the entire year like a trophy, until its brought back out for the next matchup.

Nogales has won four straight in the series and has displayed the hat atop its dugout in the following meeting. It needs to be guarded by players and coaches.

\u201cDuring the game we'll have guys go over there to mess with them and try to steal it,\u201d Gelardi said. \u201cAfter, if we win, they'll present us with the sombrero on the pitcher's mound and we'll celebrate.\u201d

Family atmosphere

Sahuarita and Nogales players face each other about 10 times a year, including winter and summer ball, so the players and families are familiar with one another and there's no animosity amongst the coaches and fans.

\u201cI think its like brothers or cousins going after each other,\u201d Gelardi said. \u201cWe know each other very well.\u201d

Favela's wife has made potato tacos as a postgame treat for the Sahuarita staff when they host and the Mustangs open up the concession stand to the Apaches come to visit.

Off the diamond

The rivalry also carries into football season, as both Favela and Gelardi are assistant coaches with their schools. Gelardi is an assistant on the defensive side while Favela helps out with the Apaches\u2019 offense.

For now, both coaches have considered the possibility of another meeting in the later rounds of the state tournament, which begins April 29. Nogales was ranked second in Division III heading into the matchup, while Sahuarita was No. 4.

If the two teams were to play in the semifinals or championship game, the coaches agree it should he held at Hi Corbett Field.

\u201cThat be awesome, the Sombrero would come out for that,\u201d Gelardi said. \u201cWe'd call that the Super Sombrero game.\u201d

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Salpointe Catholic\u2019s baseball team sent 11 batters to the plate in the first inning Tuesday night on its way to registering eight hits and scoring six runs. But the Lancers knew all too well the game was far from over \u2013 especially going against a scrappy Sunnyside squad riding a seven-game winning streak.

Right they were.

Senior pitcher Branden Hance struck out nine for the complete-game win and top-ranked Salpointe held on for a 6-5 victory on the road to bounce back from its first regular-season loss last week. The Lancers, ranked first in Division II, scored 10 runs in the first inning of that game at Phoenix Desert Vista, before losing 15-13.

\u201cThese guys show up ready to play, we just have to figure out a way to sustain for seven innings or however long we play,\u201d Salpointe coach Danny Preble said. \u201cWe haven\u2019t done a good job of that the last couple weeks, playing a full ball game.\u201d

At first, it looked as if Salpointe was going to quickly dispose of Sunnyside, in a rematch of a state tournament game a year ago.

A two-run single by Robby Campillo and a two-run home run by Alex Hernandez put the Lancers ahead 4-0 before the sixth-ranked Blue Devils had even recorded an out.

Senior right fielder Alex Diaz, who led the game off with a single, put Salpointe up 6-0 with a two-out RBI single after Sunnyside\u2019s Angel Castillo relieved starting pitcher Adam Moraga.

\u201cWe know we have an explosive offense,\u201d Diaz said. \u201cWe just have to have the same intensity throughout the whole game.\u201d

Salpointe (21-4 overall) was unable to get any offense going from there, however, as Castillo caused headaches at the plate. At one point, he retired 14 straight Lancers, while Sunnyside continued to inch its way back into the game.

The Blue Devils scored twice in the first inning and then made it 6-3 in the third, when senior Marcos Larranaga led off with a home run to left. Two innings later, Larranaga scored on a two-out RBI single by Saul Suazo to make it a two-run game.

Sunnyside (16-8 overall) pulled within one run of the Lancers in the bottom of the sixth when Moraga scored on an error that also sent the tying run to third base with two outs. But Hance came up with a strikeout to end the inning and keep the Lancers ahead.

\u201cIt\u2019s really tough knowing the fact that we could have won, that\u2019s what hurts the most,\u201d Castillo said. \u201cWe had opportunities to produce runs, but we just didn\u2019t capitalize.\u201d

After Castillo retired the side in the top of the seventh, Hance trotted back out to the mound for Salpointe and notched two quick strikeouts before Sunnyside catcher Joseph Molina got on with a two-out single. But Hance worked Castillo into a groundout one batter later, sealing Salpointe\u2019s win.

\u201cIt\u2019s huge,\u201d Hance said. \u201cIt builds confidence, especially against a good team like this. We\u2019re going to face a couple more good teams to finish off the season, going into the playoffs, and it builds some good momentum for us.\u201d

"}, {"id":"f25484cd-9dc1-5ae9-93be-719e9bb16125","type":"article","starttime":"1460949360","starttime_iso8601":"2016-04-17T20:16:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1461064024","priority":35,"sections":[{"highschool":"sports/highschool"},{"tennis":"sports/high-school/tennis"}],"flags":{"web_only":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Southern Arizona tennis teams buckle down as state tournaments near","url":"http://tucson.com/sports/highschool/article_f25484cd-9dc1-5ae9-93be-719e9bb16125.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/sports/highschool/southern-arizona-tennis-teams-buckle-down-as-state-tournaments-near/article_f25484cd-9dc1-5ae9-93be-719e9bb16125.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/sports/highschool/southern-arizona-tennis-teams-buckle-down-as-state-tournaments-near/article_f25484cd-9dc1-5ae9-93be-719e9bb16125.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Daniel Gaona\nArizona Daily Star","prologue":"Singles and doubles tournaments begin Friday, team tournaments next week.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":["#tweet","#highschoolpick"],"customProperties":{"label":"TENNIS"},"images":[{"id":"d8bce110-4d13-52c3-9d9f-d897a147d7c1","description":"Catalina Foothills sophomore Abby Watson has the unbeaten Falcons locked in on the No. 1 seed in the Division II state tournament, which begins next week.","byline":"Daniel Gaona / Arizona Daily Star 2015","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"620","height":"478","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/8b/d8bce110-4d13-52c3-9d9f-d897a147d7c1/571531fe59efd.image.jpg?resize=620%2C478"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"77","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/8b/d8bce110-4d13-52c3-9d9f-d897a147d7c1/571531fe81b32.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"231","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/8b/d8bce110-4d13-52c3-9d9f-d897a147d7c1/571531fe59efd.image.jpg?resize=300%2C231"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"789","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/8b/d8bce110-4d13-52c3-9d9f-d897a147d7c1/571531fe59efd.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C789"}}}],"revision":4,"commentID":"f25484cd-9dc1-5ae9-93be-719e9bb16125","body":"

Singles and doubles tournaments kick off Friday and the regular season for tennis comes to an end Tuesday.

The picture for next week\u2019s team tournaments seemingly clear, as Catalina Foothills appears to be a lock to earn both the boys and girls No. 1 seeds in Division II once again.

Several teams have already wrapped up the regular season but some can still try and squeeze into the 16-team fields for the state tournaments: Tucson High\u2019s boys could climb from No. 20 with a win against Mountain View on Tuesday and some help. Tanque Verde\u2019s girls, ranked 17th in Division III, should lock up spot by winning their final two matches, including one against No. 9 Benson.

Here\u2019s a look at Southern Arizona programs ranked in the top 25 heading into the final week:

BOYS TENNIS

Division II

1. Catalina Foothills, 14-0: No remaining matches.

2. Pusch Ridge Christian, 14-0: Tuesday vs. Flowing Wells.

7. Salpointe Catholic, 10-3: Tuesday vs. Ironwood Ridge.

8. Nogales, 10-3: Monday vs. Ironwood Ridge.

11. Rincon/University, 11-3: No remaining matches.

16. Canyon del Oro, 10-4: No remaining matches.

20. Tucson, 7-5: Tuesday at Mountain View.

21. Sierra Vista Buena, 5-6: Monday vs. Marana, Tuesday at Sunnyside.

Division III

6. Desert Christian, 12-1: No remaining matches.

8. St. David, 11-1: Tuesday vs. Bisbee.

9. Tanque Verde, 10-2: Monday at Desert View, Tuesday at Benson.

12. Cholla, 10-3: No remaining matches.

13. Amphitheater, 10-3: No remaining matches.

21. Sahuarita, 8-4: Tuesday vs. Desert View.

GIRLS TENNIS

Division II

1. Catalina Foothills, 14-0: No remaining matches.

2. Salpointe Catholic, 13-1: Tuesday at Ironwood Ridge.

4. Rincon/University, 13-1: No remaining matches.

9. Nogales, 9-4: No remaining matches.

10. Sabino, 10-5: Tuesday at Douglas.

12. Douglas, 8-3: Monday vs. Pueblo, Tuesday vs. Sabino.

17. Marana, 10-3: Monday vs. Sierra Vista Buena.

20. Pusch Ridge Christian, 8-6: Tuesday at Flowing Wells.

Division III

7. Walden Grove, 11-2: No remaining matches.

9. Benson, 10-3: Tuesday vs. Tanque Verde.

10. The Gregory School, 10-2: No remaining matches.

11. St. David, 10-2: Tuesday vs. Bisbee.

17. Tanque Verde, 8-3: Monday vs. Desert View, Tuesday at Benson.

20. Patagonia, 8-4: Monday vs. Nogales Lourdes Catholic.

21. Flowing Wells, 10-4: Tuesday vs. Pusch Ridge Christian.

"}, {"id":"da7190dd-21a8-588b-9c2c-c5a30d5cff4f","type":"article","starttime":"1460949180","starttime_iso8601":"2016-04-17T20:13:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1461110831","priority":35,"sections":[{"high-school":"sports/high-school"},{"highschool":"sports/highschool"}],"flags":{"web_only":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Prep picks: Plenty up for grabs in HS sports with busy week in Tucson","url":"http://tucson.com/sports/high-school/article_da7190dd-21a8-588b-9c2c-c5a30d5cff4f.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/sports/high-school/prep-picks-plenty-up-for-grabs-in-hs-sports-with/article_da7190dd-21a8-588b-9c2c-c5a30d5cff4f.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/sports/high-school/prep-picks-plenty-up-for-grabs-in-hs-sports-with/article_da7190dd-21a8-588b-9c2c-c5a30d5cff4f.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Daniel Gaona\nArizona Daily Star","prologue":"The stakes are high with the postseason quickly approaching.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":["#tweet","#highschoolpick"],"customProperties":{"label":"PREP PICKS"},"images":[{"id":"3f518cf4-6a99-5587-aa9c-8a262a63db6e","description":"Salpointe shortstop Efrain Cervantes (25) makes the pivot after forcing Canyon del Oro's Michael Santorelli(23) on Canyon del Oro's Emilo Reyna's (4) RBI fielder's choice tying the game 4-4 in the sixth inning at Canyon del Oro High School, Friday, April 12, 2016, Tucson, Ariz. Kelly Presnell / Arizona Daily Star","byline":"Kelly Presnell / Arizona Daily Star","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"620","height":"421","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/f5/3f518cf4-6a99-5587-aa9c-8a262a63db6e/57154b136eac6.image.jpg?resize=620%2C421"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/f5/3f518cf4-6a99-5587-aa9c-8a262a63db6e/57154b138a656.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"204","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/f5/3f518cf4-6a99-5587-aa9c-8a262a63db6e/57154b136eac6.image.jpg?resize=300%2C204"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"696","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/f5/3f518cf4-6a99-5587-aa9c-8a262a63db6e/57154b136eac6.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C696"}}}],"revision":5,"commentID":"da7190dd-21a8-588b-9c2c-c5a30d5cff4f","body":"

With the postseason quickly approaching the stakes are only continuing to get higher.

Plenty of Tucson-area baseball, softball and boys volleyball teams are in line to qualify for the upcoming state tournaments but this week features some big showdowns, such as a rivalry game between the Salpointe Catholic and Sunnyside baseball teams, both ranked in the top six in Division II.

There is also a top-10 clash with Ironwood Ridge hosting Mountain View in boys volleyball and Sahuaro's softball team hosts defending state champion Cienega.

Take a look at this week's top high school sports matchups in the Tucson area:

Baseball

Canyon del Oro at Phoenix Desert Vista, Monday, 4 p.m.

Tempe Marcos de Niza at Catalina Foothills, Monday, 4 p.m.

Tanque Verde at Pusch Ridge Christian, Monday, 4 p.m.

Pueblo at Thatcher, Monday, 4 p.m.

Desert Christian vs. Glendale Joy Christian at Grand Canyon University, 6 p.m.

Benson at Bisbee, Monday, 6:30 p.m

Cienega at Sahuaro, Tuesday, 4:30 p.m.

Nogales at Sahuarita, Tuesday, 6 p.m.

Salpointe Catholic at Sunnyside, Tuesday, 6 p.m.

Sierra Vista Buena at Amphitheater, Tuesday, 6 p.m.

Desert Christian at Pueblo, Wednesday, 4 p.m.

St. David at Benson, Wednesday, 4 p.m.

Ironwood Ridge at Catalina Foothills, Wednesday, 6 p.m.

Sierra Vista Buena at Sunnyside, Wednesday, 6 p.m.

Bisbee vs. San Miguel at Kino Sports Complex, Wednesday 6 p.m.

St. Augustine Catholic at Elfrida Valley Union, Thursday, 2 and 4 p.m.

Sahuaro at Sierra Vista Buena, Thursday, 4 p.m.

Florence at Desert Christian, Thursday, 4 p.m.

Rincon/University at Rio Rico, Thursday, 4 p.m.

Cienega at Sabino, Thursday, 4 p.m.

Sahuarita at Empire, Thursday, 5 p.m.

Walden Grove at Desert View, Thursday, 6 p.m.

Catalina Foothills at Canyon del Oro, Friday, 4 p.m.

Tanque Verde at Desert Christian, Friday, 4 p.m.

Catalina at Pueblo, Friday, 4 p.m.

Sunnyside at Rincon/University, Friday, 4 p.m.

Salpointe Catholic at Phoenix Arcadia, Friday, 6:30 p.m.

Softball

Catalina Foothills at Rio Rico, Monday, 4 p.m.

Florence at Walden Grove, Monday, 4 p.m.

Tanque Verde at Pusch Ridge Christian, Monday, 6 p.m.

Casa Grande at Canyon del Oro, Tuesday, 4 p.m.

Rio Rico at Douglas, Tuesday, 4 p.m.

Nogales at Sahuarita, Tuesday, 4 p.m.

San Miguel at Elfriday Valley Union, Tuesday, 4 p.m.

Cienega at Sahuaro, Tuesday, 4:30 p.m.

Safford at Catalina Foothills, Tuesday, 6 p.m.

Rincon/University at Desert View, Tuesday, 6 p.m.

Tombstone at Academy of Tucson, Wednesday, 4 p.m.

Sunnyside at Sierra Vista Buena, Wednesday, 4 p.m.

Desert View at Douglas, Wednesday, 4 p.m.

Rio Rico at Sahuaro, Wednesday, 4 p.m.

Amphitheater at San Manuel, Wednesday, 4 p.m.

Thatcher at Tanque Verde, Wednesday, 4 p.m.

Bisbee vs. San Miguel at Kino Sports Complex, Wednesday, 5:45 p.m.

Walden Grove at Pusch Ridge Christian, Wednesday, 6:30 p.m.

Rincon/University at Canyon del Oro, Thursday, 4 p.m.

Sahuaro at Sierra Vista Buena, Thursday, 4 p.m.

Empire at Sahuarita, Thursday, 4 p.m.

Desert View at Tucson, Thursday, 6 p.m.

Salpointe Catholic at Phoenix Arcadia, Friday, 4 p.m.

San Manuel at Pusch Ridge Christian, Friday, 4:30 p.m.

Sunnyside at Rincon/University, Friday, 4:30 p.m.

Thatcher at Amphitheater, Friday, 6 p.m.

Boys volleyball

Rincon/University at Palo Verde, Tuesday, 5 p.m.

Pueblo at Desert View, Tuesday, 5:30 p.m.

Ironwood Ridge at Mountain View, Tuesday, 6 p.m.

Salpointe Catholic at Tucson, Tuesday, 6 p.m.

Sahuaro at Sierra Vista Buena, Tuesday, 6 p.m.

Marana at Flowing Wells, Tuesday, 6 p.m.

Desert View at Sahuaro, Thursday, 6 p.m.

Flowing Wells at Canyon del Oro, Thursday, 6 p.m.

Mountain View at Catalina Foothills, Thursday, 6 p.m.

Sabino at Rincon/University, Thursday, 6 p.m.

Salpointe Catholic at Ironwood Ridge, Thursday, 6 p.m.

Gilbert Perry at Ironwood Ridge, Friday, 6 p.m.

"}, {"id":"244319fe-2dbb-5294-948e-82da0f14b73c","type":"article","starttime":"1460784600","starttime_iso8601":"2016-04-15T22:30:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1462312988","priority":35,"sections":[{"highschool":"sports/highschool"},{"track-and-field":"sports/high-school/track-and-field"}],"flags":{"web_only":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Flowing Wells girls take first at Mario Castro Invitational","url":"http://tucson.com/sports/highschool/article_244319fe-2dbb-5294-948e-82da0f14b73c.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/sports/highschool/flowing-wells-girls-take-first-at-mario-castro-invitational/article_244319fe-2dbb-5294-948e-82da0f14b73c.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/sports/highschool/flowing-wells-girls-take-first-at-mario-castro-invitational/article_244319fe-2dbb-5294-948e-82da0f14b73c.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":1},"byline":"By James Kelley\nSpecial to the Arizona Daily","prologue":"Salpointe Catholic rolls to boys title, winning by 23 points.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["mario castro","drachman stadium","flowing wells","salpointe catholic","tucson high","ellen mork","saydie chavez","justice summerset","james kelley","neysia howard","catalina rodriguez-portillo","izaria maxey","dejanae wilmore","tyree pierson","d.j. hintin","tavian ross","adrian valenzuela","la shante butler","kaylen fox","annabella spencer","brielle sterns","ana lopez"],"internalKeywords":["#tweet","#highschoolpick"],"customProperties":{"label":"TRACK"},"images":[{"id":"6b30eb01-deb1-5fba-bc29-be4262754df6","description":"Runners explode out of the blocks for the boys 100 meters during the Mario Castro Invitational at the Roy P. Drachman Track and Field Stadium in Tucson, Ariz., Friday, April 15, 2016. Photo by Alex McIntyre / for the Arizona Daily Star","byline":"Alex McIntyre / for the Arizona Daily Star","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"620","height":"413","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/b3/6b30eb01-deb1-5fba-bc29-be4262754df6/5711796fb35b1.image.jpg?resize=620%2C413"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"66","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/b3/6b30eb01-deb1-5fba-bc29-be4262754df6/571179700ddb4.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/b3/6b30eb01-deb1-5fba-bc29-be4262754df6/5711796fb35b1.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"683","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/b3/6b30eb01-deb1-5fba-bc29-be4262754df6/5711796fb35b1.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C683"}}}],"revision":10,"commentID":"244319fe-2dbb-5294-948e-82da0f14b73c","body":"

A season after fielding a team of around only 10 athletes, the Flowing Wells girls track and field team won the Mario Castro Track and Field Invitational on Friday night.

At the University of Arizona's Drachman Stadium, Flowing Wells edged second-place Tucson High 93-82.50. On the boys side, Salpointe Catholic won the title by 23 points.

Flowing Wells girls coach Ellen Mork said the team win was good because it keeps the young squad motivated as they\u2019re trying to build up the program.

\u201cIt\u2019s good for our girls,\u201d Mork said. \u201cRight now for Flowing Wells we\u2019re trying to get the girls interested in more sports and especially in track.\u201d

Mork said she was most impressed with freshman Saydie Chavez, who smashed her personal record in the 3200 meters. Chavez won the event in 11:39.27. She also won the 1600 meters in 5:27.73.

\u201cHer PR prior today was an 11:59 and she ran an 11:39,\u201d Mork said. \u201cShe ran a smart race, she took the lead when she needed to and she kept it and finished strong.\u201d

Despite nursing an ankle injury and not being able to practice, Mountain View senior Justice Summerset won the high jump with a meet record of 7 feet.

He said he bruised his ankle three weeks ago. He\u2019s trying to get healthy by practicing less and not competing as much, although he expects it to be a problem for two more weeks.

\u201cI came out and jumped pretty well today and I was surprised by that, not practicing this week at all,\u201d Summerset said.

Summerset, who wore his trademark UA socks and UA shorts between his events, won the high jump at his future home track. He has committed to Arizona.

\u201cIt\u2019s awesome, Summerset said. \u201cI kind of get to protect my home for the next four years. I\u2019m excited to compete here and be a Wildcat.\u201d

Tucson High sophomore Neysia Howard won three golds. She won the 100 meters in 12.19, the 200 in 25.69 and the 400 relay, along with Dejanae Wilmore, Izaria Maxey and Catalina Rodriguez-Portillo.

The Tucson High boys 4x100 relay team won with a time of 42.15, a school record. The relay team featured Tyree Pierson, D.J. Hintin, Tavian Ross and Adrian Valenzuela.

Sahuaro junior Brielle Sterns won three events: the 300 hurdles in 48.03, the long jump (leaping 16-11) and the 1600 relay in 4:08.44, along with La Shante Butler, Kaylen Fox and Annabella Spencer. This was Sterns\u2019 first time competing in the long jump this season.

Tucson High junior Ana Lopez won the girls high jump, with a leap of 5-4. She finished tied for second in the long jump, with teammate, Rodriguez-Portillo, getting 16-7.

\u201cI did decent, I was hoping for higher, 5-8,\u201d Lopez said.

Lopez\u2019s highest jump this season, 5-6, came at Drachman, in the Willie Williams Classic. At that meet she also won the long jump.

Lopez, who has jumped a school record 5-7, said she likes how the season has gone for overall.

\u201cIt\u2019s gone really good honestly, I\u2019m excited for state,\u201d Lopez said. \u201cI\u2019ve been putting in work, putting in the weight room, muscle in my legs, so we\u2019ll see.\u201d

"}, {"id":"3527d64b-7da7-5630-89c9-15ecfe820988","type":"article","starttime":"1460784000","starttime_iso8601":"2016-04-15T22:20:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1460804476","priority":35,"sections":[{"highschool":"sports/highschool"},{"baseball":"sports/high-school/baseball"}],"flags":{"web_only":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Desert Christian's Greene shuts down Catalina on windy day","url":"http://tucson.com/sports/highschool/article_3527d64b-7da7-5630-89c9-15ecfe820988.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/sports/highschool/desert-christian-s-greene-shuts-down-catalina-on-windy-day/article_3527d64b-7da7-5630-89c9-15ecfe820988.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/sports/highschool/desert-christian-s-greene-shuts-down-catalina-on-windy-day/article_3527d64b-7da7-5630-89c9-15ecfe820988.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Roberto Payne\nSpecial to the Arizona Daily Star","prologue":"Pitcher allows just one run after battling illness earlier this week.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["desert christian baseball","catalina trojans","catalina baseball","roberto payne","aaron folsom","grant hopkins","barrett greene","alex phillips"],"internalKeywords":["#tweet","#highschoolpick"],"customProperties":{"label":"BASEBALL"},"images":[{"id":"6c23738d-bdc5-5fad-8793-0c67518edda9","description":"","byline":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"620","height":"516","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/c2/6c23738d-bdc5-5fad-8793-0c67518edda9/554a60c19d292.image.jpg?resize=620%2C516"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"83","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/c2/6c23738d-bdc5-5fad-8793-0c67518edda9/554a60c1acea2.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"250","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/c2/6c23738d-bdc5-5fad-8793-0c67518edda9/554a60c19d292.image.jpg?resize=300%2C250"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"852","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/c2/6c23738d-bdc5-5fad-8793-0c67518edda9/554a60c19d292.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":7,"commentID":"3527d64b-7da7-5630-89c9-15ecfe820988","body":"

It was a blustery day on Friday, but the Desert Christian baseball team was unfazed by the element as the Eagles defeated Catalina 5-1 to extend its winning streak to seven.

The Eagles improved to 16-3-1 and remained undefeated at home, while Catalina fell to 11-12 and lost its fourth straight.

Both teams opened up their portions of the first inning with hard hit fly outs that might have been out of the park if not for the wind. Both Desert Christian senior starting pitcher Barrett Greene and Catalina sophomore starting pitcher Alex Phillips avoided trouble, setting up what looked to be a pitcher\u2019s duel.

The dynamic of the game changed as the wind came creeping back into play in the bottom of the second when Desert Christian freshman Ryan Gobosch hit a blooper that floated just out of reach of Catalina second baseman Aaron Folsom and allowed the first run to score.

While Catalina continued to stay cold over the next few innings, the Eagles began to heat up behind a pair of extra-base hits in the third. Desert Christian tacked on three runs in the inning to take a 4-0 lead and give Greene the lead he needed to effectively shut the door.

Greene was pitching just days after being sick with the stomach flu and a fever. He tossed a complete game, recording two strikeouts and holding the Trojans to five hits.

\u201cI was kind of worried coming in,\u201d Greene said. \u201cTwo days ago I had a bad stomach flu, yesterday I had a fever, I didn\u2019t know what was going on. I was kind of worried. Today was just a wild card and I\u2019m really happy I was able to pitch 100 percent and just give them my all.\u201d

Greene got off to a hot start with two strikeouts in the first inning and used that momentum to stymie the Trojans until the bottom of the fifth, when three passed balls loaded the bases and allowed the Trojans to score their lone run.

It was the lone ray of sunshine on an otherwise bleak day for the Trojans.

After the game, Desert Christian coach Grant Hopkins said he\u2019s proud of how his team responded throughout the game and highlighted Greene\u2019s performance coming off his various illnesses.

\u201cHe wasn\u2019t here Wednesday, he wasn\u2019t here (Thursday), and he came out and threw a pretty good game for being sick,\u201d Hopkins said.

Desert Christian is 13-1-1 since losing twice in its first five games.

\u201cToward the beginning of the season we lost a couple games and that really humbled us,\u201d Greene said. \u201cWe didn\u2019t get off to the best start this season, but that\u2019s OK, because recently we\u2019ve been coming back and our defense has been holding teams really well.\u201d

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Despite the state softball tournament being two weeks away, a playoff atmosphere was in the air Friday night when the Empire softball team walked off in the seventh inning with a 3-2 victory over Catalina Foothills.

With one out and runners on second and third, Elysa Rodriguez hit the game-winning single to deep center-field to cap a three-run seventh inning for Empire and lift the No. 12 Ravens over the No. 5 Falcons in a game that featured the top two Division III teams in Tucson.

\u201cI was excited. I like to be in those situations,\u201d Rodriguez said. \u201cI was ready to do it for my team and get that winning run. Took a couple deep breaths and got it done.\u201d

The first five innings were scoreless as Empire\u2019s Jaden Romero and Foothills' Nic Conway were impressive on the mound. Romero finished the night having allowed five hits and two runs to go with four strikeouts and two walks.

\u201cI was just trying to make sure to keep them to no runs, but they scored two so I just wanted to keep us in the game at least,\u201d Romero said. \u201cI\u2019m so excited we won. I\u2019m so pumped. Can\u2019t even talk.\u201d

Conway threw nine strikeouts in the first five innings and finished the game with 10, while allowing six hits, three walks and three runs.

\u201cThe thing that I really appreciate about her is she doesn\u2019t seem to get rattled,\u201d Empire coach Shannon Woolridge said of Romero. \u201cYou\u2019ve got to be tough as nails out there on the mound and she\u2019s been put in some pressure situations so far this year, quite a few times, and she\u2019s handled it all very well.\u201d

Foothills got the scoring started in the sixth inning after Marisa Garcia hit a two-out single to drive in Louise Rider-Strange. They added a second run in the top of the seventh on a Megan Kelch RBI double.

Jadyn Duncan got the scoring started for Empire in the bottom of the seventh on an RBI bunt single to keep the Ravens alive. Buddy Vargas followed that up with an RBI double, which set up Rodriguez for the game-winner.

\u201cGoing in we were confident that we were going to win,\u201d Rodriguez said. \u201cThere was a lot of talk everywhere but we kind of pushed through it and stuck together and didn\u2019t get on each other. We struggled some innings but we all came together that last inning and got the win.\u201d

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With less than a month left in the regular season, there are handful of Tucson-area boys volleyball teams still in the hunt for spot in the Division II state tournament \u2014 all of which are looking up at Cienega.

The second-ranked Bobcats continued their dominance with an impressive 3-0 (25-13, 25-20, 25-15) win over visiting Sahuaro on Thursday night.

It was supposed to be a showdown of top-10 teams. Instead, Cienega put on a clinic for how to make quick work of a solid team and improved to 11-0 in regular-season play.

\u201cI was thrilled tonight with the execution and energy,\u201d coach Heather Mott said. \u201cTo come out against Sahuaro and play like that, feels good.\u201d

With the sweep, the upperclassmen-heavy club has now not dropped a set since beating Salpointe Catholic 3-1 more than a month ago.

The Cougars (8-2 in regular-season matches) managed to carry over their improved play from the second set, taking an early lead in the third, but they couldn\u2019t sustain it.

Sahuaro\u2019s Cameron Detwiler had a match-high 10 kills, but it was Cienega using a balanced attack on both sides of the ball to get it done.

All six Bobcats to score had at least five kills or more, led by Skyler Cavanaugh\u2019s nine.\u00a0Walker Frighetti finished second with eight.

\u201cIt\u2019s a big rivalry game,\u201d said Cavanaugh. \u201cWe needed to come out and get the win for our home crowd and all of Cienega.\u201d

Making it all happen was McLain Mott,\u00a0the division\u2019s leader in assists. He racked up 33 assists on the night.

Cienega is not shying away from talking about what could be,\u00a0returning the majority of a team that was upset in first round of the state tournament last year and a core that was on the No. 2 team in 2014.

\u201cThere\u2019s a little more chemistry this year,\u201d said Isaiah Murphy,\u00a0the state\u2019s leader in blocks. \u201cEverything is vibing. Our main goal is to win state.\u201d

The 6-foot-5-inch Murphy and 6-6 Cavanaugh, finished with six and seven blocks, respectively. A total of six Bobcats starters found their way into the block column.

Still putting all the pieces together, the Cougars will be competing at this weekend's Notre Dame Prep Boys Volleyball Invitational in Scottsdale.

\u201cWe did a lot of good things,\u201dSahuaro coach Sandy Novak said. \u201cWe placed the ball well. We hit into big blocks, we hit through big blocks. We made some good choices on covering. Unfortunately, we made too many mistakes and shot ourselves in the foot too many times.\u201d

For Sahuaro, hosting a first-round playoff match will most likely come down to the final week of the regular season. The Cougars host three straight, including the final two against bubble teams in No. 16 Tucson and No. 14 Rincon/University.

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Minutes after Mike Lee stepped off the court, the Catalina Foothills senior was eager to take on Yash Parikh and the Salpointe Catholic boys tennis team once again, even though he had just lost to Parikh in both singles and doubles play.

\u201cThat\u2019d be awesome if we got to play them again,\u201d said Lee, who has signed with the Arizona Wildcats. \u201cI really want to see him again, I really do so bad. I want to play him again in doubles and singles.\u201d

Top-ranked Foothills, the two-time defending Division II state champion, rolled to another win against the Lancers on Thursday, beating them 7-2 at Tucson Racquet Club, in a rematch of the last two championship matches.

The showdown may have also been the final meeting between Lee and Parikh, two of the state\u2019s premier tennis players over the last four years.

Parikh\u2019s 6-1, 6-2 singles win against Lee and a come-from-behind 8-6 victory in doubles with fellow senior Cyrus Grygutis provided the lone victories as sixth-ranked Salpointe snapped its seven-match winning streak.

\u201cIt feels really good, but I expect to win,\u201d said Parikh, who is undecided on his college plans. \u201cI\u2019m happy with the way I played, but I know I could do better.\u201d

Foothills extended its winning streak to 48 matches, a run that dates to the 2013 season. Still, the Falcons aren\u2019t looking past anyone.

\u201cNo team is unstoppable,\u201d said first-year Foothills coach Jeff Bloomberg. \u201cWe\u2019ve had some of our matches where the score wouldn\u2019t indicate it, but they were competitive. \u201cWe\u2019ve just got to be ready to go each week; we\u2019re not going to take anything for granted.\u201d

Both teams close out the regular season next week before kicking off the singles and doubles tournaments Friday. The team tournament opens the following week, on Tuesday.

Lee won a singles championship as a freshman in 2013, and Parikh won a year later. Last spring, Lee was the state runner-up, and Parikh fell in the semifinals to the eventual champion.

Although it would only be fitting to see the two club teammates face off for the singles title, that might not be the case: Parikh, who is undefeated, will play in the singles tournament, but Lee might team up with his freshman brother, Mason, to play doubles.

\u201cWe want to get that title as a family,\u201d Mike Lee said. \u201cThat would be really special.\u201d

However, there is still the possibility of the two playing each other during the team tournament \u2014 perhaps in the championship match, once again.

\u201cIf this is the last time, I\u2019m going to be very sad,\u201d Mike Lee said. \u201cThis is not how I wanted to go out, I didn\u2019t play that well.\u201d

"}, {"id":"653612f1-45f2-5696-951e-aa7432c9e115","type":"article","starttime":"1460691840","starttime_iso8601":"2016-04-14T20:44:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1463508100","priority":30,"sections":[{"highschool":"sports/highschool"},{"track-and-field":"sports/high-school/track-and-field"}],"flags":{"web_only":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Big month could be in store for Sahuaro's Sterns","url":"http://tucson.com/sports/highschool/article_653612f1-45f2-5696-951e-aa7432c9e115.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/sports/highschool/big-month-could-be-in-store-for-sahuaro-s-sterns/article_653612f1-45f2-5696-951e-aa7432c9e115.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/sports/highschool/big-month-could-be-in-store-for-sahuaro-s-sterns/article_653612f1-45f2-5696-951e-aa7432c9e115.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Chuck Constantino\nArizona Daily Star","prologue":"Cougar will compete in the Mario Castro Invitational this weekend.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":["#tweet","#highschoolpick"],"customProperties":{"label":"TRACK"},"images":[{"id":"ce1f8854-5b06-58f5-9f5b-184b07a63082","description":"Brielle Sterns of Sahuaro High School is not just a competitor, but a leader in her sport, her coach says.","byline":"Mamta Popat / Arizona Daily Star 2014","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"370","height":"620","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/e1/ce1f8854-5b06-58f5-9f5b-184b07a63082/571018c77ce1f.image.jpg?resize=370%2C620"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"167","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/e1/ce1f8854-5b06-58f5-9f5b-184b07a63082/571018c7c8ab1.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"503","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/e1/ce1f8854-5b06-58f5-9f5b-184b07a63082/571018c77ce1f.image.jpg?resize=300%2C503"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1717","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/e1/ce1f8854-5b06-58f5-9f5b-184b07a63082/571018c77ce1f.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":9,"commentID":"653612f1-45f2-5696-951e-aa7432c9e115","body":"

Sahuaro junior Brielle Sterns trains like a professional athlete, constantly fine-tuning her mind and body.

She has help. Her father, Darian, helps her train. Her brother, Cole, a former state champion in the long jump who now plays football at Northern Arizona, passes along tips and tricks.

Brielle\u2019s phone conversations with Cole, a sophomore defensive back, are more frequent with big track meets looming. Sterns will lead the Cougars into this weekend\u2019s Mario Castro Invitational, one of the final tune-ups before next month\u2019s state track meet.

\u201cWe talked yesterday,\u201d Sterns said. \u201cI watch a lot of video on him and we talked long jump, how he hitch kicks in the air and how to slow it down.\u201d

Here\u2019s how Sterns, who has verbally committed to run track and play volleyball at New Mexico State, has fared throughout her career and what is expected over the next month.

100-meter hurdles

Best time this season: Sterns posted a 14.59-second time at the Casa Grande Kiwanis Invitational on April 1, good for a first-place finish. Sterns also placed first in Tempe at the 37th Sun Angel Track Classic.

Track record: Sterns is a two-time defending state champion in the 100 hurdles, with a personal-best time of 14.35 seconds.

Coachspeak: \u201cAt Tempe, she just won that back-to-back years and that\u2019s with Division I (high) schools. She goes up there and whoever she goes against, she wins with 14.7 \u2014 not her best, she was a little rushed. But competition, she\u2019s not afraid of it.\u201d \u2014 Sahuaro coach David Spencer

300-meter hurdles

Best time this season: She posted a time of 47.91 seconds at the Casa Grande Invitational, finishing fourth despite dealing with a sore hamstring.

Track record: Sterns placed fourth at last year\u2019s D-II state meet with a time of 46.05 seconds. She also placed fourth at state as a freshman with a personal-best time of 46.02.

Coachspeak: \u201cHer next building block is the 300 hurdles, that\u2019s her goal for state, so we\u2019re working our way up to the 300-hurdle championships.\u201d \u2014 Spencer

Long jump

Best time this season: Sterns will make her debut at the Mario Castro Invitational.

Track record: Sterns posted a qualifying mark of 17 feet 11 inches at the Mario Castro Invitational, the first time she had jumped all year, then won a D-II state championship by jumping 18-2. Sterns place ninth at state as a freshman in 2014.

Coachspeak: \u201cWhat does she do well? The better question is, what doesn\u2019t she do well? She does everything well if she puts her mind to it. Once she gets going, nothing can stop her. She\u2019s her hardest critic. Like long jump, she just did that the one meet last year and bangs out a state qualifying mark in one meet. What kind of kid does that? \u201d \u2014 Spencer

4x400 relay

Best time this season: Sterns and teammates Annabella Spencer, Tyra Yanez and Kaylen Fox placed fourth with a time of 4 minutes 17.95 seconds at the March 19 Willie Williams Classic.

Track record: Sterns, Yanez, Spencer and Jamie Holliday placed ninth at the 2014 state meet with a time of 4:11.38.

Coachspeak: \u201cOur 4x4 team, look out Mario Castro. I think this will be our best meet. We have a whole different team with new girls, so we\u2019re looking to PR. She\u2019ll qualify, but she can only do four events at state. That\u2019s the good thing: We can get qualified in all these events, points-wise. If we need her there, she\u2019s willing to do that. She\u2019s grown from freshman to sophomore to now in being more of a leader. She doesn\u2019t speak it, but (does it) with actions.\u201d \u2014 Spencer

"} ]