March 2nd-4th I watched four State Finals of 4A-OPEN at Arizona Veterans’ Memorial Coliseum in Phx, AZ. There were some incredible games along the way including the 2OT battle between Highland defeating Brophy in exciting fashion. To some people’s surprise,…
March 2nd-4th I watched four State Finals of 4A-OPEN at Arizona Veterans’ Memorial Coliseum in Phx, AZ. There were some incredible games along the way including the 2OT battle between Highland defeating Brophy in exciting fashion. To some people’s surprise, every higher seed actually ended up winning.
4A #2 Peoria 66 #8 Deer Valley 57
5A #1 Campo Verde 61 #2 Millennium 48
6A #1 Highland 63 #2 Brophy Prep 61
OPEN #1 Perry 74 #10 Sunnyslope 58
Here were some of the Senior and Junior Standouts
Isaiah Kai Isaiah Kai 6'2" | PG Campo Verde | 2023 State AZ Campo Verde
The NAU commit fought all game long while being pressured most of the game. He is fast in the open court and has a very quick first step to get to the basket. He can catch a ball in the air to score on alley-oops and can rattle in shots when hot with high elevation on his jumpers. He saw the court well and had many assists for easy scores to his teammates and was easily the MVP of the game. 11 points 7 assists 5 rebounds.
Cody Williams Cody Williams 6'8" | SF Perry | 2023 State #25 Nation AZ Perry
One of the top players in the state backed it up on the big stage. He played a lot of the point guard role and made some impressive passes. He defends multiple positions and what is impressive with Cody is his ability to take very few strides to get to the rim to dunk it. He can hesitate and get downhill with his left or right hand. He is also crafty to score on hook shots over defenders using his size to his advantage. He had a great career and may be playing professionally one day.
Noah Peterson Noah Peterson 6'3" | SG Highland | 2023 State AZ Highland
One of the more physically gifted guards in the senior class is a tough cover. He does a little bit of everything. He can drive and kick it with good open court speed and is built like a linebacker to get into the paint on layup and floaters. He creates his own shot with a nice handle and will stop and pop from mid-range. He can also hesitate to drive by and score and plays with a hunger to succeed. He had 27 pts and 12 rebounds.
Jai Anthoni Bearden Jai Anthoni Bearden 6'6" | PF Sunnyslope | 2024 State AZ Sunnyslope (Pictured)
A high motored forward is extremely versatile. He really makes his money on the defensive side. He defends perimeter players and is strong enough to bang inside. He will grab offensive rebounds to score with good hands on put backs or he will even dunk it above the rim. He has a nice floater and his defense and athletic ability make him attractive for the next level.
Andrew Camacho Andrew Camacho 6'1" | CG Peoria | 2023 State AZ Peoria
One of the top scorers in the class had a bit of a slow start for himself but came to life in the second half and carried the Panthers to a ring. He is a good passer but is best putting the ball in the hoop. He has the runner, mid-range jumper, the catch three and he gets downhill to score as he changes speeds perfectly. He ended up with 23 points and a Chip.
Arman Madi Arman Madi 6'6" | SF Brophy Prep | 2023 State AZ Brophy Prep
A bigger wing forward is skilled and versatile. He has the ability to defend the 2-4 plus plays like a point forward. He can take the ball off the glass and go coast to coast and once he gets the attention he kicks it perfectly to a teammate. He didn’t score his usual average but he played great defense with rebounds, block shots and senior leadership on the court.
Braeden Speed Braeden Speed 6'3" | CG Brophy Prep | 2024 State AZ Brophy Prep
A tough combo guard is a fierce on-ball defender. He collects steals in bunches with his supreme lateral quickness and strength. He scores it mostly downhill but is a capable three point shooter. He grabs tough in-traffic rebounds and can score on put backs or get himself to the free throw line. He had 22 points and 11 rebounds.
Ben Egbo Ben Egbo 6'4" | SF Perry | 2023 State AZ Perry
The ultimate glue guy sacrifices some of his own offense for the betterment of the team. He defends all positions on the court with incredible length and good instincts and awareness. He scores on back door layups, jumpers and he excels in transition. Once he gets a step on you on the break it is usually a dunk or layup.