With winter sports coming to the end of the regular season, the state tournament offers one last opportunity for high school student-athletes to make a showing in soccer, basketball, and wrestling.
Of the three, the majority of state-qualified athletes from the Northwest area have come from wrestling, with Ironwood Ridge, Mountain View, Canyon Del Oro, and Marana each sending wrestlers to compete.
Ironwood Ridge is looking for a back-to-back team state championship in wrestling, and is well on their way to doing so after placing first in the Division II sectional tournament. In total, the school has 13 wrestlers participating in the state tournament, including three returning individual state champions in Connor Buette, Trevor Willson, and Tate Sandifer.
Ironwood is considered one of the favorites to win the state tournament this year.
“We have awesome student-athletes who have been recognized as some of Southern Arizona’s best,” said Ironwood Ridge Athletic Director, Terri Amonson.
The Nighthawks also qualified the boys’ basketball team for the state tournament after finishing the regular season with an impressive 17-1 league record. The team fell in the first round of the sectional playoffs to Red Mountain, with a score of 63-46, which could affect their seed at state.
Girls’ soccer made it to the second round of the sectional playoffs, where they fell to Catalina Foothills. Boys’ soccer and girls’ basketball did not qualify for the state tournament.
Mountain View’s wrestling program is coming off a big December tournament win, where the team beat out 15 other teams in the 23rd-Annual Mountain View Dual Tournament. Coach PJ Ponce is looking to add a third state title to his coaching resume. Bailey Janis, a junior at Mountain View, will look to continue his successful season, which boasts a 39-1 record, and individual wins at the Camp Verde Invitational, Salpointe Invitational, and the Mountain View Dual Tournament. Janis swept all four of his matches in the first round of sectionals to secure a top seed going into the state tournament. Seven Mountain View wrestlers will attend the state competition.
Girls’ soccer, which is now playing in Division I, also advanced to state, where they fell to Pinnacle High School.
“The soccer team had a tremendous season considering their move,” said Mountain View Athletic Director, Todd Garelick.
The girls’ basketball team is awaiting word from the sectional tournament staff to find out if they advance to the state tournament.
Boys’ basketball and soccer did not advance.
The Pusch Ridge girls’ basketball team has defied the obstacles that have come with the recent AIA realignment, and advanced to compete in state. They captured their first sectional playoff win against Cholla High School on Feb. 7, with a score of 47-32. They are the only Pusch Ridge team to advance to state.
Marana will be sending 10 wrestlers to the state tournament after earning a second-place team finish in sectionals. No other sports advanced.
Canyon Del Oro
Canyon Del Oro High School will also be sending wrestlers to the state tournament. No other sports advanced.
The timeline of the state tournament varies by sport. Team results will be updated as they become available.