High School Basketball Notebook: Big Matchup This Week, Lightfoot Brings Instant Impact, Harry Excelling On Gridiron and Court

Corona del Sol

I was very impressed with Corona as a whole when they beat Basha this past week. It’s very clear why they are considered one of the elite programs in the state because they can score in so many different ways. The scariest part about this team is how good they can be for years to come. Marvin Bagley III, a freshman, and Alex Barcello, a sophomore, are two of the top players in the state already and will be for next few years.

If you want to see two of the premiere programs play, then head to Corona del Sol on Tuesday as the Aztecs will take on Desert Vista. Both teams are 19-1 on the year.

Apollo

Apollo is another team who is experiencing a youth movement. Earlier this year, I got to speak to the three sophomores who have been key contributors for the Hawks 18-5 start. Throw in senior Danny Babadzhanov, who is second in scoring on the team, and junior Carson Taylor, who has put up at least ten points in ten of the team’s last 13 contests, and the Hawks have plenty of weapons offensively.

McClintock

There might not be a better backcourt in the state than McClintock’s Malique Washington and Amiri Chukwuemeka. The duo averages 43 points a game and 8 assists per game, and create a versatile offense for Sam Dentz as they can both assume the point guard role. Chuwuemeka leads the state in 3-pointers made, and Washington can has emerged as one of top defensive players in the state. This duo will be tough to stop come playoff time.

Gilbert Christian

The Knights received a huge breath of fresh air after Mitchell Lightfoot was deemed eligible by an Arizona court, lifting the injunction the AIA had placed on him and  Tony Licavoli earlier this season. Since returning to the floor, the New Mexico commit is averaging 20 points a game, and is coming off 33 point, 18 rebound stint in a 66-50 win over Dobson. Lightfoot leads the team with 18 points per game, and is another scoring option for an already talented roster. Gilbert Christian sits at 15-6 on the year.

Chandler

N’Keal Harry was a key to Chandler football’s offense as they made their way to the state championship, notching 700 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns. Harry has traded in his pads and helmet for some sneakers and hasn’t missed a beat. He is putting up nearly 24 points and 12 rebounds per game for the 13-9 Wolves basketball team. He has not eclipsed 20 points in only two games so far this year, and if he keeps this up, he will be getting plenty of attention from colleges for his work on the field AND the court.