Basketball: Plenty of targets in 2nd half

Teams on winning streaks can prove they're for real
2013-01-04T00:00:00Z Basketball: Plenty of targets in 2nd halfDaniel Gaona Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
January 04, 2013 12:00 am  • 

The Catalina Foothills' boys basketball team has won seven straight games, including a rout of visiting Sahuaro early last month.

That win, and the Falcons' undefeated record against Southern Arizona opponents, might make them the team to beat as the second half of the season gets under way.

Foothills (10-1) beat the Cougars at home 75-44 on Dec. 7. Coach Mark Felix said last month's win was big but he admitted it will be tough when he takes his team to Sahuaro for a rematch a week from today.

"We knew what the game meant, and I think we caught them a little bit more by surprise," Felix said.

The Falcons have not lost since Nov. 23, against Mesa Red Mountain, and are No. 1 in the Division II seedings.

But Foothills isn't the only team wearing a target. Here are five other teams to look out for down the stretch:

Flowing Wells girls

Record: 13-3, No. 5 in Division II

Look back: The Caballeros won their holiday tournament for the second year in a row and are heading into the second half riding an 11-game winning streak. In that stretch, their closest game was decided by eight points, and their average margin of victory was 30.9 points.

Golden nugget: Indiana commit Lyndsay Leikem had a triple-double in the semifinals of the tournament with 15 points, 12 rebounds and 11 blocks. Junior Shalise Fernander had a double-double in that same game (20 points, 10 rebounds); the two are possibly the best tandem in Southern Arizona.

Sahuaro boys

Record: 14-5, No. 5 in Division II

Look back: The Cougars responded to the loss against Foothills with five straight wins before losing back-to-back games at the Alvarez Tire Holiday Hoops Classic in Prescott. However, a 33-point win over Catalina one day later could have set the tone for the second half.

Golden nugget: Junior Arthur Gibson had a double-double against Catalina, scoring 21 points on 10-of-12 shooting and grabbing 10 rebounds. Senior James Molina finished with six points in that game but still leads the team with 13.4 per game.

Tucson girls

Record: 15-1, No. 5 in Division I

Look back: The Badgers' one loss came against Flowing Wells in the semifinals of the Flowing Wells Holiday Shootout. Tucson's biggest win came against Sierra Vista Buena, 52-50, in the season-opening Boyd Baker Tournament. Buena is No. 7 in the Division I seedings.

Golden nugget: Freshman Alexis Cortez scored 28 points in that win over the Colts and has put up at least 20 points four times. She leads the team in scoring, averaging 15.2 points per game.

Sierra Vista Buena boys

Record: 12-5, No. 25 in Division I

Look back: The Colts ended the first half on a five-game winning streak, capped by their third win over Sunnyside this season. The victory gave them the Northwest Desert Classic title.

Golden nugget: Senior RaShawn Avery has scored at least 25 points in five games. He's averaging 18.3 per game.

Sahuaro girls

Record: 12-3, No. 7 in Division II

Look back: Sahuaro won 10 straight before losing 54-41 to Flowing Wells in the championship game of the Flowing Wells Holiday Shootout.

Golden nugget: Freshman Sydney Harden leads the team, averaging 13.4 points a game. She has put up double digits in every game and has scored 21 points twice so far.

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