Pick of the Preps: Busy track meet at UA highlights this week's action

High school runners will be trying to break the tape first in many events during this week's Willie Williams Classic.


Four Southern Arizona squads won titles this past weekend, closing out the soccer and wrestling seasons.

Now basketball teams will try to add to that total.

The 24-team, single- elimination state tournaments kick off Tuesday night starting with the Division III boys. They conclude Feb. 23 with a full slate of state championship games.

Here's a look at some first-round matchups to watch this week:


No. 18 Safford travels to 15th-seeded Rio Rico at 7 p.m. The Hawks are the only Southern Arizona boys team with a first-round home game in Division III.

No. 17 Benson travels to No. 16 Show Low and 22nd-ranked Empire plays at No. 11 Thatcher.

Rio Rico had won six straight games before losing in the second round of sectionals.


Seven area girls teams in Divisions I, II and III open their tournaments, four of which will be playing on their home court.

In Division I action, No. 9 Sierra Vista Buena, No. 12 Mountain View and No. 14 Tucson all host games at 7 p.m. while No. 23 Cienega travels to 10th-seeded Tolleson Union.

No. 13 Canyon del Oro and No. 22 Sabino are the only Division II teams in action while No. 6 Flowing Wells and No. 7 Sahuaro both earned first-round byes. The Dorados host Laveen Fairfax at 7 p.m.

In Division III, No. 18 Benson on the road.


Thirteenth-seeded Cholla will be the only local boys team playing at home but five other area squads will be playing on the road.

In Division I, No. 19 Cienega, No 21 Sierra Vista Buena and No. 24 Sunnyside are all in the Phoenix area.

No. 19 Amphitheater and No. 21 Canyon del Oro will also be up the road in Division II action while the Chargers host No. 20 Flagstaff Coconino at 7 p.m.

No. 2 Catalina Foothills and three other Division II squads earned first-round byes and will play Saturday.

Complete first-round schedule / B7