With the sectional portion of the postseason over, it is time for the real deal to get going.

No more questions about power points or possible match ups - just good old-fashioned, single-elimination action.

The Division I boys and girls basketball tournaments begin this week with a chance for a fresh start.

Whatever missteps there might have been up to this point can be wiped away with a good postseason run.

With the addition of eight more teams this year, the 24-team field will make for an interesting couple of weeks with plenty of additional questions to be answered.

Can the Mountain Pointe boys team, which has never made the state title game, pull everything together and gain valuable experience for the next couple of years with an extended run?

The Desert Vista boys has shown signs of being a state contender from the start, but does the 30-point loss to Pinnacle in the sectional semifinals inspire the Thunder or was it a sign of things to come?

The Pride girls are young and have shown they can beat teams they are supposed to, but don't do enough of the little things - like make free throws - to hang with the top half of the tournament teams. Can they step to the line and sink one win when it matters most?

And then there are the Desert Vista girls.

The Thunder have been the best area team all year, but coach Rachel Proudfoot was not happy with the way the team played in the sectional final in a 62-46 defeat against Mountain View. Can Desert Vista play at the level needed to return to its first final since 2004?

Some are valid questions, others are reaches and all will be answered very shortly.

Here is a look at what lies ahead for the area teams


Desert Vista (20-8)

The Thunder earned the fifth seed and receives a first-round bye. The Thunder will host the winner of No. 12 Mesa Mountain View and No. 21 Rincon on Saturday at 7 p.m.

Should they win that game, Desert Vista will mostly likely face No. 4 Gilbert in the quarterfinals at Wells Fargo Arena on Feb. 21. From there, as long as the seeds hold up, No. 1 Corona del Sol would be waiting in the semifinals on Feb. 23 at Jobing.com Arena. The state title game is two days later at the same place.

Mountain Pointe (14-12)

Mountain Pointe earned the 19th seed and travels to Oro Valley to take on No. 14 Ironwood Ridge at 7 p.m. on Thursday.

A road win would pit the Pride against No. 3 Red Mountain on Saturday with a possible meeting with sixth-seeded Cesar Chavez at Wells Fargo on Feb. 21 in the quarterfinals.


Desert Vista (24-6)

The Thunder were hurt by advancing to the sectional final as it moved up six spots in the power rankings to finish sixth.

It's good enough for a first-round bye, where they will face the winner of No. 11 Valley Vista and No. 22 Cienega on Friday at 7 p.m.

And should Desert Vista advance it will most likely set up a match up with undefeated third seed and nationally-ranked St. Mary's on Monday. A win there would give the Thunder huge momentum heading into the semifinals where No. 3 Highland will most likely be waiting on Feb. 23 at Jobing.com Arena, with the championship game Feb. 25 at the same location.

Mountain Pointe (21-9)

No. 19 Mountain Pointe gets a second shot at No. 14 Boulder Creek on Wednesday. The tip off is a rematch from last week's sectional first-round game won 54-47 by BC at a neutral site.

Should the Pride close the gap and pull out the win then they will have a tall order in facing St. Mary's on Friday. A monumental upset could possibly force a match up with rival Desert Vista.

Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or jskoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.

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