Sports

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Former player returns to coach Buckeye

New head coach Regina Early has returned to her roots.

The Buckeye girls basketball coach and former player is back after graduating in 1996 and is ready to lead the Hawks to the state tournament.

“What they [girls] really want this year is to win the conference and go even further in state,” Early said.

In 2003, the Hawks fell to Agua Fria in the West Valley Region title game, then advanced past Moon Valley in the first round of the state tournament before falling to Marana in the second round.

Mon
22
Nov
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Estrella girls focus on defense, speed in 2004

Estrella Foothills’ girls basketball team suffered the fate of getting behind the eight ball too early and too often in 2003.

The result was not a favorable one.

The Wolves managed just four victories in their inaugural varsity campaign, falling behind early then letting up on defense to a point where comebacks were difficult.

Mon
22
Nov
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10 Scorpions selected for postseason honors

Ten Desert Edge players earned first- or second-team honors or honorable mention for their gridiron exploits during the school’s initial foray into varsity football.

Playing an independent schedule, Desert Edge went 2-4, concluding the season with a 61-36 loss to Basha in a playoff game of independent teams.

Players for the all-independent team came from Desert Edge, Basha, Sandra Day O’Connor and Notre Dame Prep.

Mon
22
Nov
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Added height increases Wolves’ chances

a game in which size does matter, Estrella Foothills’ lack of height in 2003 cost it a shot at the state tournament.

This year height won’t be as much of a concern.

“We didn’t have any height, we played small ball,” first-year head coach Vince Brungardt said.

Brungardt, who served as an assistant last year on an Estrella team that finished .500, said the tallest player was 6 feet 1 inch tall.

“We were a good team but just couldn’t kick it up into a winning season,” Brungardt added.

Mon
22
Nov
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More improvement on horizon for Hawks

year, the Buckeye girls soccer team made its biggest strides in the program’s five-year history, making it to the region tournament for the first time.

As the Hawks begin the program’s sixth season in 2004, they’ve set even higher goals to attain.

“The goal this year is to make the state playoffs,” head coach Bryan Jonovich said.

The 2004 West Valley Region coach-of-the-year lost just one player to graduation from a squad that also won its first region tournament game, defeating Mohave.

Mon
22
Nov
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Youth will be served at Millennium

In order for Millennium to approximate last year’s success on the soccer field, youth will have to be served.

“We will be a very young team,” said coach Ben Ganados, the man who guided the Tigers to best record in state Class 4A history. “We will likely start three sophomores.”

Millennium posted a 24-0 record en route to winning the 4A state title, the first state championship in school history.

Mon
22
Nov
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Knights’ ride may be temporarily detoured

It has been like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride for the Westview boys soccer program the last four years.

Rising from the depths of a three-win season, the Knights rose to heady reaches of success with consecutive victory totals of 10, 15 and 19, establishing school records each of the last two seasons.

However, the wild ride may experience a downturn this year since so many of the seniors responsible for last year’s success have graduated.

Mon
22
Nov
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Lady Tigers have blend of youth, experience

With four players returning who earned all-region second-team or honorable mention, and the introduction of some new faces, the outlook is bright for Agua Fria’s girls soccer team.

The return of several veterans and the team’s performance in a 1-0 victory over Palo Verde in a scrimmage last week has coach John Shalongo enthusiastic about his team’s prospects.

“We may be the more skilled than we have ever been,” Shalongo said.

Millennium was 11-7 overall last season and was 3-1 in West Valley Region play, tying for first place with Agua Fria and Mohave.

Thu
18
Nov
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Youthful Knights will rely on quickness

As the dean of West Valley boys basketball coaches, Westview’s Mark Sanders will have to rely on all of his savvy as he guides a very inexperienced team.

Last year, Westview posted a 21-8 overall record and 8-0 league mark, winning the Desert West Region regular season and tournament championships.

The Knights lost to North, 71-63, in overtime, in the opening round of the state tournament, snapping a 13-game winning skein.

However, only one player returns from that team.

But that one player was very important to the team’s success last season.

Thu
18
Nov
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Defending region champs gain youth

Coming off a Desert West Region championship in 2003, the Tolleson girls basketball team is attempting to defend its crown minus some crucial experience.

Five seniors graduated from a 21-8 team that bowed out to state champion St. Mary’s in the second round of the tournament last year. The most notable loss is Vallerie Tellez, but eight-year head coach Todd Nelson said his 2004 squad has a nice mixture of talent.

“This year we picked up some young athletic kids,” Nelson said. “We’ve got a good nucleus.”

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