Throughout the Corona del Sol boys
basketball season, there was one
major hump the players could not get
over – Desert Vista.
After close losses in the first half
of the season, the team regained its
confidence with the start of the new
year, losing only four times, all to
On Feb. 24, the squad was matched up
against the Thunder yet again in the
quarterfinals of the state
tournament. This game, although much
closer than the previous three,
still produced the same results--an
Aztec loss by seven.
Despite their defeat, the Aztecs had
many positive experiences throughout
the season, bringing at least some
satisfaction to Coach Sammy Duane.
“Overall, I believe we accomplished
a lot,” Duane said. “I think that we
exceeded everyone’s preseason
expectations. Nineteen wins was a
great accomplishment for our guys.”
The team finished second in region
(behind Desert Vista) and had
thrilling victories throughout the
Duane pointed to comeback victories
against Basha and Buena, as well as
his team making it to the elite
eight again, as the year’s big
Along with these notable
achievements, there were a number of
individuals who helped carry the
team to its 19-10 record, according
“(Seniors) Brad Carroll and
Phil Feinberg of course made
big impacts,” Duane said.
“(Sophomore) Leland Devlin
gave us much-needed scoring this
year, and (seniors) Johnny
Beerling, Justin Kelley
and (juniors) Nick Timpone
filled the holes from last year very
well. (Junior) Alex Zener
also made big strides this year.”
Duane also saw Zener as one of the
big surprises of this year.
“Zener was very good to start the
year and (junior) Aaron Foshie
came on strong at the end of the
year,” Duane said.
With this season in the books, Duane
said he is looking forward to next
year but will not forget the seniors
he will be losing this year.
“I really enjoyed our seniors this
year; they were very fun to coach,”
“I am sad to lose them because they
are the type of people that every
coach wants in their program.
“They accomplished a lot in their
careers here--47 wins 13 losses, two
trips to the state tournament,
making the final eight, a state
runner up, and two region
“These seniors, more importantly,
will all be very successful in their
Next year, Duane sees the team once
again being successful with the
players scheduled to return.
“We will have a lot of returnees and
guys coming up that will be
competing for spots,” he said.
“I see the basketball program in
good shape for the next couple of
“As far as how we play and who will
be where, that will sort it self out
over the summer and into next