Glendale Mountain Ridge made four 3-pointers in the first eight minutes and cruised to a 61-47 6A Conference state tournament victory at No. 15 Mesa Red Mountain on Friday night.
No. 18 Mountain Ridge was the lowest of two lower seeds that advanced to the championship bracket, which begins Wednesday.
Mountain Ridge will wind up at 16 in Sunday’s reseeding and will have to travel to the No. 1 seed, which could be Tempe Corona del Sol, in the round of 16.
Timmy Allen, one of the top players in the state, didn’t start for Red Mountain, because of an injury that caused him to miss the final three regular-season games. He was limited when he did play and Mountain Ridge took advantage.
Forward Saikou Gueye had 16 points to lead balanced scoring by Mountain Ridge (15-12). Tanner Ray and Chris Hermes each had 13 points and forward Jared Rodriguez added 11.
“The boys played well as a team for the entire game,” coach Eli Lopez said.
All of Friday’s winners will find out Sunday where they are seeded among the 16 teams left in the state tournament.
– No. 17 and defending state champion Mesa traveled to No. 16 Tucson Sunnyside and left a 60-40 winner. Sunnyside standout junior forward Nikc Jackson committed three first-half fouls as Mesa built a lead while the 6-foot-7 junior was on the bench.
Smith scored 11 of Sunnyside’s first 18 points, before picking up his second and third fouls.
– Three days after No. 19 Gilbert Perry handed top-ranked Chandler Basha its only loss of the season, it fell to No. 14 Avondale La Joya 83-68.
Quincy Smith had 34 points to lead La Joya, which has become one of the more dangerous teams in the state late in the season.
“Our kids are playing well right now,” coach Roger Lefebvre said. “Played extremely hard and defensively we are playing as well as can be.”
– No. 12 Mesa Mountain View defeated No. 21 Gilbert Highland 63-49.
– No. 11 Chandler Hamilton beat No. 22 Glendale Copper Canyon 69-39. Hamilton had three players score in double figures, led by K.C. Kedem’s 17 points. Rashad Smith had 15 points and Zach Anderson added 11.
– Tevian Jones had 24 points and 11 rebounds to lead No. 13 Chandler to a 70-49 win over No. 20 Phoenix Mountain Pointe.
Jalen Gibson-Starks made 6 of 9 shots, 2 of 3 3-pointers, to add 14 points for Chandler. Mike Anderson added 2 of 3 3-pointers for the Wolves, who made 5 of 10 3s.
– No. 10 Mesa Desert Ridge eliminated No. 23 Phoenix Horizon 79-74.
– No. 9 Phoenix Central rolled past No. 24 Scottsdale Desert Mountain 53-40, as Anthony HIghtower scored 16 points and Jaquan Butler added 14.
“Desert Mountain played really disciplined,” Central coach Darren Bustos said. “But I think our defensive pressure in the half-court and rebounding were the keys to the victory.”
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No. 23 Maricopa stunned No. 10 Glendale Deer Valley and will advance as the No. 16 seed to likely set up a rematch at Glendale Apollo on Wednesday night.
Apollo beat Maricopa 74-52 to end the regular season.
– Freshman Evan Nelson had 22 points to lead No. 13 Marana Mountain View to a 59-53 win over No. 20 Phoenix Carl Hayden.
– Bryce Fowler had 21 points for No. 9 Avondale Agua Fria in a 74-35 rout of No. 24 Phoenix Sierra Linda.
– No. 16 Peoria Liberty eliminated No. 17 Gilbert Mesquite 62-52.
It was the first basketball state playoff victory in Liberty’s history. Guard Cole Roether had 26 points to lead the Lions.
“We played tough and together with our bigs making some key plays defensively at the end of the game,” Liberty coach Mark Wood said.
– No. 15 Tempe McClintock kept its season alive with a 64-44 win over No. 18 Gilbert Williams Field.
– No. 12 Paradise Valley, which lost to Scottsdale Notre Dame in the regular season, got revenge with a 55-40 win over the No. 21 Saints.
– No. 11 Tucson Sahuaro edged No. 22 Queen Creek 42-40.
– No. 14 Laveen Betty Fairfax fell behind early but bounced back with a 82-66 win over No. 19 Buckeye Verrado.
Suggest human interest stories to Richard Obert at email@example.com or 602-316-8827. Follow him at azc_obert.