Sports Notebook...with Brian Gomez
Lady Aztecs take momentum into Nike tourney

By Brian Gomez

Now its time to see whether the Corona del Sol High School girls basketball team is legit.

After blowing through the majority of its non-region schedule, No. 2 Corona (9-1) puts its merit to the test Dec. 20-22 in the Nike Tournament of Champions, which figures to draw some of the nationís toughest competition.

The Aztecs have struggled in the prestigious event in recent years, suffering an 85-34 loss against La Jolla (Calif.) Country Day School last season. Then again, this yearís team is much deeper than last yearís squad.

Much of Coronaís early success can be attributed to the effectiveness of sophomore guard Bonnie Barbee, as well as senior guards Sy Janousek and Amy Rosenkrantz, who have both signed with the University of Vermont.

Corona has outscored its opponents by an average of 19.5 points. Its lone loss came in overtime against No. 1 Phoenix St. Maryís.
Boys hoops drop another

The Corona boys basketball teamís struggles continue.

Coming off a 57-55 win over Avondale Westview, Corona (2-6) suffered a 76-64 setback against Phoenix North last week, marking its sixth loss in seven games.

Junior guard Demetrious Earl paces the Aztecs in averaging 15 points, and junior center Sean Imadiyi and junior forward Clayton Bates are averaging 14.5 points apiece. Imadiyi is 13 for 16 from the field and 3 for 3 from three-point range.

Bates leads Corona with 8.5 rebounds, and Imadiyi is averaging 8 boards. Junior guard Brett Miller is averaging 10 points and 4.5 rebounds.
Corona will compete in the McClintock Holiday Shootout Dec. 27-30. 

Girls soccer stays on top

Sophomore midfielder Alexa Daiutolo scored three goals and five other players tallied, as the Corona girls soccer team remained unbeaten last week on the strength of an 8-0 win over McClintock.

The No. 1 Aztecs (7-0) got goals from Alexis Burkhart, Este Rea, Ashley Cain, Katie Cartwright and Kaitlin Baum. They outscored McClintock 4-0 in the first half, and added another four goals in the second half to complete the shutout.

Corona returns to action Dec. 27-31 in the Mustang Soccer Classic at Mesa Dobson.

Hockey club gains ground

The Corona ice hockey club has gained ground in the South division with back-to-back wins over Chandler Hamilton and Scottsdale Desert Mountain, but still trails Desert Vista by 14 points.

The Aztecs (2-5-1) have three weeks off for winter break before facing Phoenix Brophy at 5:15 p.m. Jan. 2 at Alltel Ice Den. Corona and Brophy skated to a 4-4 tie in their only meeting this season.

Forwards Matthew Morsch and Ryan Sell pace Corona with six goals and three assists apiece. Forward Chris Stark has a team-leading four assists, and defenseman Adam Sell has totaled three assists and two goals.

Goalkeeper Luke Peters has struggled, allowing 32 goals in 311 minutes. Backup Andrew Hale has been scorched for eight goals in 49 minutes.

Youth tennis finishes second

Sparked by Aprende Middle School eighth-grader Garret Dunn and Kyrene Middle School eighth-grader Keyon Tehrani, a Kyrene Corridor-based squad placed second last month at the USA Team Tennis national tournament in Tucson.

The team, called the Blind Squirrels, qualified for nationals in the 14-and-under advanced division this fall at a sectional tournament by beating squads from El Paso, Albuquerque and Tucson.

At nationals, the Blind Squirrels knocked off a team from Miami, Fla., before downing teams from the Pacific Northwest, Southern and Midwest sections. 

They fell to a Southern California-based team in the finals.