1st season win for Padres’ 4×100 relay teams

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Semaja Mack exploded out of the blocks as Marcos de Niza’s Padres faced their first meet of the season.

The Padres competed against Combs in their first track meet of the 2017 season taking first place in several events at the Marcos de Niza track.

The boys 4×100 relay team of Anthony Steinpreis, Noah Tate, Keandre Greer and Joren Davis took first place as did the girls 4×100 relay team of Alohna Taylor, Lexi Ross, Drysten Muir and Melahnie Washington.

First place also went to the boys 4×400 relay team of Jordan Johnson, Eric De la Garza, Luis Alvarez and Miguel Calderon.

Marcos runners performed well in the individual events as well.

“The 100 meter and 200 meter individual races were all dominated but Marcos athletes,” said girls head coach Marianne Webb, “but junior Alohna Taylor, competing in only her second year running hurdles, took first place in the 300 meter hurdles.”

Padre Mackenzie White passes the baton to temmate Maureen Juarez.

Senior Kepano Ream, in his second season competing in a Padres uniform, took first place in the 800-meter race.

“The track was not the only place the Padres showed their true brown and gold,” said Webb. “We had some significant wins in the field events as well.”

A familiar name to any Padres football fan would be Marcus Naisant who is also a star in the field events for Marcos.

As a senior, Naisant played in 11 out 12 football games for the Padres scoring 10 receiving and two rushing touchdowns to become the second leading scorer on the team with 72 points.

As a track and field athlete, Naisant seemed to have picked up where he left off last year when at the 2016 state meet he ran the lead-off leg of the 4×100 team that took first place. Naisant also placed first in the triple jump, second in the long jump and fifth in the high jump at state.

“Marcus Naisant swept the high jump, triple jump and long jump events in our meet against Combs,” said Webb. “

Alec Lindgren was first in the boys pole vault while Collin Wood took second in the same event.

The Padres competed in a meet with Higley and Combs at Higley High School scheduled for Mar. 1.

Up next, Marcos was scheduled to compete at the Desert Classic Invitational at Queen Creek High School on Mar. 3. The next scheduled meet was not until Mar. 22 at Tempe High School.

Marcos de Niza Boys Basketball

The Padres, who entered the 4A State Basketball Championship with a 15-10 record on Feb. 15 as the No. 11 seed, played superbly well to defeat No. 6 Rio Rico in a tight game 80-78 before falling to No. 3 Catalina Foothills, 71-56, in the quarterfinals Feb. 18.

Against Rio Rico, Mason Stark was the leading scorer with 24 of the 80 total points making four out of seven three-pointers or shooting 57 per cent.

DaShawn Ray was the second leading scorer with 16 points matched with Zurell Livingston’s 16 points. Lovonne Brunson was next with nine points, Jamari Robinson with eight and Tyson Union with seven points.

In the quarterfinal loss to Catalina Foothills, Stark was again the leading scorer with 20 points followed by Union with 13, Livingston with 12, Ray with seven and Robinson with four.

The Padres, who, in the regular season, were one of the best three-point shooting teams in the 4A conference was held to only five three pointers against the Falcons.

Honored on senior night in addition to Stark, Livingston, Robinson, Ray and Tyson Union were Aaron Childers and Gaige Hale.

Childers played in 19 games grabbing 45 rebounds with 14 blocks, four steals, three assists and 29 points. Hale played in 17 games scoring 20 points and bringing down 19 rebounds.

Other members of the basketball team who contributed to the Padres success on and off the court are juniors Sunny Ozuna, Orion Bryant and Jalen Porter along with sophomore Torren Union. Marcos, 17-11, finished the season ranked No. 12 in the 4A conference one position ahead cross-town rival Tempe High School who finished ranted No. 13.

Tempe Boys Basketball

The Buffaloes entered the 4A state basketball championship an automatic qualifier as the No. 7 seed with a 13-5 regular season record.

They barely defeated No. 10 Estrella Foothills, 65-64, on Feb. 15 before losing in the quarterfinals to the No. 2 seeded Salpointe Catholic 70-48 on Feb. 18.

Naseem Vigil finished his junior season as the team’s leading scorer with 427 points in the 24 regular season games ahead of senior Nate Manley who was second with 259 points.

Sophomore Kameron Spivey-Johnson was close on Manley’s heels with 257 total points playing in all 24 of the regular season games followed by senior Allan Vigil with 181 points and sophomore Emmanuel Gore with 107 points.

Manley lead the Buffaloes in rebounds with a total of 168 along with 58 assists. Spivey-Johnson had to most assists with 77 along with 132 rebounds, 28 rebounds head of Gore who had 104.

Players honored on senior night besides Manley and Allan Vigil included Alex Beltran, Angel Flores and Fabian Lopez.

Beltran played in 20 of the regular season games scoring 40 points with nine assists and 27 rebounds while Flores played in 14 games, scored 49 points with seven assists and 22 rebounds.

Lopez came off the bench in 16 regular season games scoring 83 points with 81 rebounds and one assist.

Other members of Tempe’s basketball team who contributed on and off the court included junior Jamal Al-Rashed, Elias Dorris and Abdul Vaughn and sophomores Jzahantavyon Bryant and Jalen Gant.

The Buffaloes, 17-10, ended the season ranked No. 13 in the 4A conference but with two of their players who will be returning next season ranked in the top 20 in points scored and assists in the 4A conference.

Naseem Vigil is ranked No. 14 averaging 17.8 points a game while Spivey-Johnson, only a sophomore, is ranked No. 20 in assists per game with 3.2.

McClintock Boys Basketball

The Chargers made it into the 5A state basketball championship as the No. 14 seed after defeating the No. 18 seed Williams Field 64-44 on Feb. 10 in the Conference Play-In Tournament.

Sophomore Josh Baker was the leading scorer against the Black Hawks with 24 points hitting five out of eight or 63 per cent of his three-pointers. He went three for three on his two-point shots.

Baker was followed by senior Jamal Johnson with 15 points when he also hit 63 per cent of his treys or five out of eight three-point attempts.

Senior Adam Wright was next with 10 points while senior Derek Alexander was credited with six and freshman Armani Williams with five points. Both senior Tyrel Richardson and junior Andre Thurman scored two points each.

Thurman was the leading rebounder on the team with eight rebounds against Williams Field.

Unfortunately for the Chargers, as the No. 14 seed, they had to play the No. 3 seed Sunnyslope in the first round on Feb. 15 at Sunnyslope. The Chargers lost that game 37-56.

Sunnyslope played a physically defensive game limiting McClintock to shooting only 28 per cent or making only 14 out of 50 attempts.

Williams was the leading scorer with 13 points hitting five out of seven shot attempts or 71 percent but the Vikings limited Baker to only nine points hitting only 33 percent of his nine attempts.

Williams did manage to hit three out of his four three-point attempts while Baker his two out of four.

Richardson was next with seven points and an amazing 14 rebounds while Johnson scored four points, Wright three and Lawrence Charles one.

Honored on senior night besides Johnson, Wright, Richardson and Alexander was Mason Leech.

Johnson finished the season as the second leading scorer on the team with 257 points playing in all 27 games along with 90 rebounds, 80 assists and 47 steals.

Wright was the third leading scorer playing in all 27 games with a total of 201 points, 109 rebounds, 100 assists and 27 steals.

Richardson played in 24 games scoring 176 points with 137 rebounds, 28 assists and 37 steals.

Alexander played in all 27 games scoring 98 points with 35 rebounds, 35 assists and 26 steals while Leech played in 11 games during the regular season.

McClintock finished the season 14-13 ranked No. 14 in the 5A Conference but will return not only Baker, the leading scorer on the team with 428 points in 26 games along with 113 rebounds, 95 assists and 60 steals, but potentially eight other players with varsity experience.

These potentially returning players include current juniors Charles, Thurman, Marquis Holloway Davison and Chris Rivera plus sophomores Jordan Martin, Mekhi Rodgers, Donavan Williams and Jalen Calvert.

The Chargers should also return current freshman Armani Williams who played in all 27 games and was the fourth leading scorer with 196 points, 81 rebounds, 20 assists and 56 steals

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