Basketball

Walden Grove left out after AIA corrects error in 4A boys basketball bracket

Walden Grove's celebration was short-lived Sunday before the AIA corrected an error in the 4A basketball bracket and team was left off.

Walden Grove’s celebration was short-lived Sunday before the AIA corrected an error in the 4A basketball bracket and team was left off.

Sahuarita Walden Grove players gathered at a parent’s home Sunday morning to watch the Arizona Interscholastic Association stream the state basketball brackets.

When the players saw Walden Grove pop up as the No. 15 seed in the 4A Conference, they celebrated by going on Twitter and letting all of their friends know.

But something wasn’t right, and Chandler Seton was first to protest the bracket with tweets.

Seton’s reported win on MaxPreps from a Jan. 20 home game against Cave Creek Cactus Shadows wasn’t listed in the final rankings, thus taking the Sentinels out of the playoffs.

Dave Hines, assistant executive director of the AIA, said, “We got an email stating the score was wrong.”

The email, falsely stating that Cactus Shadows won against Seton Catholic, was sent four days before Sunday’s bracket release. That win was given to Cactus Shadows, which caused panic from Seton after the original bracket was released.

Coach Commander King went directly to where the bracket show was being streamed to straighten it out.

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“As soon as we found out,” Hines said, “we corrected it and had to rerun the bracket.”

This time, Seton was in, as the No. 12 seed, traveling to Phoenix St. Mary’s for the first round on Wednesday.

And Walden Grove was left out.

So, for a few hours, Walden Grove felt it had made school history, become the first team to make the state playoffs.

“We started finding out what happened,” Walden Grove coach Jimmy Stohlmann said. “We had to break it to the kids. They were pretty crushed.”

Hines said that the AIA currently is investigating where the email came from and what measures to make.

He said that the current 4A bracket won’t change again.

Cactus Shadows is the 13th seed and travels to play No.4 Phoenix Moon Valley on Wednesday in the first round.

Suggest human interest stories to Richard Obert at richard.obert@arizonarepublic.com or 602-316-8827. Follow him at azc_obert.