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Sports Notebook:
Returning seniors elevate hoop-team hopes
By Ethan Holly

November 5, 2005

With tryouts officially under way for the Corona del Sol mens basketball team, expectations will be high for this experience-laden squad.

With as many as eight returning seniors, one of the Aztecs’ biggest losses from last season will be assistant coach Jace Coburn

Reaching only 12 wins last season , the varsity basketball team did not really catch fire until region competition began.  The team did finish strong and was able to capture a share of the title along with rivals Desert Vista and Mountain Pointe.  Those clubs will likely be formidable competition this season as well.

“Desert Vista will be tough,” senior Brett Miller said, adding, “We’ve got eight strong seniors coming back and we should be real tough and fun to watch.”

The large amount of talent on this year’s team has led to many seniors being recruited by college scouts,  especially 6-foot-7-inch center Sean Imadiyi.  As a leader for the Aztecs last year, he will be counted on to carry the team deep into state.

“Our season rests on his shoulders,” Senior Clayton Bates said“He is getting looked at by Division 1 colleges.”

This group of players started to mesh together while playing at the University of San Diego summer basketball camp.  The team won ten games straight before falling in the championship game to a California high school by three points.

“We’ve got a very experienced team this year,” Bates said.  “We’d like to start off strong and have a really good season.”

Coming off a 12-17 season in which depth was a problem, underclassmen will need to step up to give the Aztecs some needed relief minutes this year.

“I’ve been really impressed with our juniors, specifically Brad Carrol, Phil Feinberg, and Johnny Beerling,” Bates said.  “Sophomore Nick Timpone can contribute to this team as well.”

This year’s region will have more depth than any in recent memory.  More than half of the players named to last year’s all-region first and second teams were juniors.  Marcos de Niza returns highly recruited point guard Kal Bay, and despite turmoil regarding their coaching situation, Mountain Pointe and their four corners stall offense will continue to challenge the Aztecs.

“Region games are always tough because teams play better in region,” Bates said.  “All region teams will be big matchups because we know each other and have played against each other for years.”

The Aztec’s varsity basketball team will be facing some extremely tough competition this upcoming season, but with their talent and poise they have a chance for a truly special year.

“I think we can come together, win region, and hopefully be one of the best teams to ever come out of Corona,” Miller said.  “Count on a winning season.”

Kyrene Corridor resident Bryan Winfrey has been the “Voice of the Valley Christian Trojans” for the past three years.  He has been honored for all of his hard work by being named by the National Association of Sports Public Address Announcers (NASPAA) as the Arizona and National Rookie Sports Announcer of the Year.  As a junior at Valley Christian, Winfrey first began calling games for both of the basketball teams as well as girls volleyball.  Now a student at ASU, Winfrey is majoring in Elementary Education.  He has also gone from announcing the games to setting them up, by becoming the athletic director at Gethsemane Lutheran.


































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