St. Gregory boys & girls sweep Green Fieldsby Andy Morales on Jan. 11, 2013, under Sports
The key to a 24-team playoff bracket is to earn a high seed and get a first-round bye. That plan is even more important in Division IV basketball because all playoff games will be played in the Prescott area.
The first round was even more brutal last year because it was held a week before the second round which meant two weekends of travel if you had the fortune of winning your first game.
The St. Gregory girls earned a 15 seed last year and beat 16 seed Red Mesa in Prescott Valley on a Saturday night only to have to pack up, drive home and go back up the following Friday night to play and lose to 2 seed Arizona Lutheran.
The Green Fields girls had a 3 seed so they missed the first-round travel but wound up going back and forth for the second and third round where they ultimately lost to 6 seed Joseph City. Still, the Griffins had one less week of travel by earning a high seed.
This year, travel will be a little easier because the first and second rounds are scheduled to be held on back-to-back days (February15-16).
It looks like the two squads may switch positions this year with St. Gregory fighting for a top eight seed and Green Fields clinging to a playoff spot.
St. Gregory is currently sitting with a 7-1 record in games that count while Green Fields is 4-5. St. Gregory beat Green Fields in the preseason Boyd Baker Tourney but that game does not count towards AIA/MaxPreps seeding points but their 66-42 victory on Thursday night at Green Fields does.
Lady Hawks coach Dr. Michelle Berry led her team to a 57-41 win over Desert Christian in the championship game of the Boyd Baker Tourney and she took her team out to California over the winter break to get more competition.
St. Gregory had a balanced attack Thursday night with three players scoring in double digits to easily offset the scoring machine in Green Fields senior guard Olivia Snyder who came up with another 30 point plus game in the loss.
Snyder had four points in the opening quarter but St. Gregory set the tone early by pouring in 18 points thanks to seven points by Grace Baranowski and six by Alex Valencia.
St. Gregory built a 33-8 lead with 2:10 left in the first half but Kya Coletta scored a bucket and then Snyder ran off seven straight points to cut the lead down to 33-17 at the half. That was as close as Green Fields would get because Amanda Gamez came out and scored six quick points to start out the third period to separate the teams again.
When it was all over, Baranowski had 17 points as did Gamez. Rachel Wilson had 13, Valencia had eight and Jodi Rickel had five.
Snyder is ranked nationally in the top 20 for scoring average at 29.5 and she contributed to her total by finishing with 31. 13 of her points came in the fourth quarter and Coletta finished with seven.
Green Fields is scheduled to visit San Miguel Friday night and St. Gregory is hosting Tohono O’odham on January 15.
Green Fields head coach Tom Danehy not only has just seven girls on his roster, he also has to coach without the help of his daughter Darlene. Darlene Danehy was a former standout student-athlete at Amphitheater and was a teen columnist for the Tucson Citizen in 2000 before moving on to various honors programs at the University of Arizona and Cornell.
With her college athletic eligibility intact, Darlene is playing hoops for Tohono O’odham Community College this year and will only assist her father when time allows.
The Green Fields boys are having a very difficult year and are a long-shot to make the tournament this year but the St. Gregory boys are in but will have to play the season out to see how high of a seed they will earn.
The Hawks are 6-2 in seedings games with one loss being a 2-point setback to Tanque Verde and a 46-40 loss to the vaunted Desert Christian squad. St. Gregory came out and missed their first six free throws against Green Fields Thursday night and fell behind 4-2 early but that was as close as Green Fields got the rest of the night.
Green Fields was stuck on six points through the first 12 minutes of the game and St. Gregory built a 28-6 lead before Green Fields would score again.
A running clock came into play and St. Gregory pulled out a 65-20 win with freshman Cameron Hodge leading all scorers with 17 points in the game. Benny Louchheim had 12 points and Ethan Groff and Andrew Zlaket had nine each.
John Lazzeroni scored nine points to lead Green Fields while Roman Tamayo had six in the loss.
Former St. Gregory standout Frankie Mgbolu redshirted his freshmen season last year at St. Edward’s University (Austin) and made the Dean’s List in the process. Mgbolu has started the last 10 games for Hilltoppers this year.