In publication since 1991, Wrangler News is distributed free every other Saturday to more than 18,000 homes in the Kyrene Corridor area of South Tempe and West Chandler, and is supported by local and regional advertisers.

  Search past and present issues of the Wrangler
    Site search Web search                       
   powered by
Contact Us Links Media Kit Make a Payment Previous Issues

Back Home Forward

Coach Duane: An upbeat view of a down season

By: Nathan Scherotter

March 3, 2007

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 the Thunder.

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 season.

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 accomplishments.

Along with these notable achievements, there were a number of individuals who helped carry the team to its 19-10 record, according to Duane.

“(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,” he said.

“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 championship games.

“These seniors, more importantly, will all be very successful in their futures.”

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 years.

“As far as how we play and who will be where, that will sort it self out over the summer and into next November.”



Photo by Kris Cartwright


web site hit counter