PRESCOTT VALLEY — Bradshaw Mountain’s boys and girls basketball teams both qualified for the 4A state play-in tournament Wednesday, Feb. 6, and they will travel on Friday, Feb. 8, and Thursday, Feb. 7, respectively, for one-game playoffs to decide their state tourney fates.
The Bears’ boys (13-10, 8-4 Grand Canyon) are the No. 22 seed and will visit No. 11 Catalina Foothills (14-4) Friday in Tucson. The Bradshaw Mountain girls (15-11, 9-3 Grand Canyon) are No. 17 and will battle No. 16 Dysart (9-9) in El Mirage Thursday. Tip time for these single-elimination playoff games is 7 p.m.
“I am extremely pleased that we have the opportunity to extend our season and go play at Catalina Foothills,” Bears boys coach Blair Hillig said. “Although it is a difficult task to travel there and win, our guys are excited for the challenge. I am very proud of the work that our team has put in.”
On the boys’ side, Catalina Foothills is riding a seven-game winning streak and hasn’t lost since Jan. 15 at Salpointe Catholic, an automatic state qualifier. The Bears have won seven of their last 10 contests, since Jan. 8.
On the girls’ side, Dysart finished 32nd in the final 4A rankings, but the Demons won the Black Canyon region with a 9-1 record to vault to the No. 16 seed. Dysart has won eight of its last nine games. Bradshaw Mountain has won five of its last nine.
If both Bradshaw teams win, the boys will move on to the 16-team state tourney, which starts at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12, and the girls will advance to the 16-team state tourney that begins at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13.
Bradshaw Mountain’s boys last qualified for state in 2016, losing in the first round. The girls were eliminated in the play-in round last season at home.
“It’s a great opportunity for us,” Bears girls senior center Delanie Clark said Feb. 5 of reaching the play-in round. “That’s something we need to take advantage of.”
Bears girls coach Rick Haltom said he and his team welcome the challenge.
“We are totally fine with playing on the road [to open the playoffs],” he added. “We are a good road team. The girls are very excited to continue to play. We are looking forward to continuing our season.”
The Top 8 seeds in the boys’ and girls’ tournaments earned automatic berths to state and await the eight winners from the play-in round. The final 16 teams will be re-seeded into the state bracket at 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 9, at azpreps365.com.
Amphitheater, Buckeye, Deer Valley, Peoria, Salpointe Catholic, Seton Catholic, Shadow Mountain and St. Mary’s are the automatic boys’ qualifiers.
Buckeye, Desert Edge, Flagstaff, Mesquite, Sahuaro, Salpointe Catholic, Seton Catholic and Shadow Mountain are the automatic girls’ qualifiers.
Prescott’s girls basketball team (10-16, 5-7 Grand Canyon) finished at No. 25 in the final 4A power-point rankings released Feb. 6, narrowly missing out on qualifying for the state play-in tournament.
The Badgers’ boys squad (6-16, 3-9 Grand Canyon) ended its campaign with a No. 38 ranking and missed the playoffs.
Doug Cook is a reporter for The Daily Courier. Follow him on Twitter at @dougout_dc. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 928-445-3333, ext. 2039.