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Once upon a time, nearly everyone had to wait their turn.
Alex Barcello, Guard, Corona del Sol: A freshman getting significant minutes on the two-time defending state champions means a couple things: A lot of talent, and a lot of mental maturity. Aztecs coach Sam Duane Jr. knew what he had coming in with Barcello — whose older sister, Julia, is an elite player on Seton Catholic’s girls team — but despite the reality he could earn minutes, not playing all the time was foreign and frustrating concept. “I wasn’t going to start but I knew if I kept pushing myself and others I had a chance to play,” he said. “At first I was down a bit but guys playing were bigger and older. I definitely got frustrated. It’s tough but I knew I had a chance so I tried to keep my confidence up and not let it affect me when I was playing.” He’s gradually forced his way into giving starter Casey Benson a break, and sometimes playing alongside the Oregon-bound Benson on a team already loaded with talent and depth. He’s enjoying the atmosphere and camaraderie with this team, which could be the best during this title streak. Even his teammates have embraced him enough to the point he said they haven’t done any freshman pranks on him. Duane Jr. said Barcello’s role will expand next season, and if he grows another couple inches in the near future, the sky’s the limit. Julia Barcello is aiming for a third state title in her career with Seton, and lets her older brother know about it constantly, but the younger Barcello is planning on catching up in his high school career.
Much has been made about the top talent in the 2014 recruiting class in football being possibly the best in Arizona history.
In some years, there are high school teams so talented that a coach’s main responsibility is to gently guide the rudder without messing anything up.
Corona del Sol boys basketball coach Sam Duane, Jr. earned Tribune Coach of the Year honors after guiding to a second state title with an overhauled roster.
The change was subtle but something Khari Holloway felt needed to be done.
Mountain Pointe had the right guy with the ball. It was the right shot from 10 feet away. It was in the basket.
February Frenzy has finally slowed down after an action-packed few weeks.