Spring Sports Should Make For Great Action

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Because both Longhorn boys and girls basketball teams qualified for the state tournament, spring coaches were forced to conduct pre-season practices without a full contingent of athletes.

Some of the athletes, who also played basketball, weren't available for opening spring sessions because they were busy prepping for the state hoop tournament that began Tuesday in Flagstaff.

Not having a full stable of athletes puts a crimp in any coaches plans. But for PHS baseball, softball and track and field coaches, it's been business as usual the past two weeks.

This season, there's a definite air of anticipation surrounding the girls track team and the Longhorn golf squad. Both won Class 3A state championships last spring and are gearing up for a run at defending their respective titles.

When a team opens the season as a champion, every opponent gives you their best shot. That effort makes the challenge of each game or meet even more exciting.

Hang on sports fans, it should be a great spring.

Going for the gold

Grand Canyon State Games wrestling begins at 7 a.m. tomorrow (Saturday) with registration in the Apache Junction High School gymnasium.

Following registration and prior to the start of the tournament, at about 11 a.m., the Arizona State University coaching staff will host a free youth wrestling clinic.

During the tournament, wrestlers will battle in age and weight divisions similar to USA wrestling events.

The competition will be conducted in folkstyle, or high school, rules.

The top finishers in each division will be awarded free admittance into the Tucson games to be held May 31 to June 2.

Athletes who win both the winter and Tucson games age/weight division titles will be presented special awards by GC officials.

Entry fee to the winter games is $25 per athlete.

Call Warren Applegate at (602) 795-4835 for more information.

More hoop

With the basketball season at an end, RCMS coach Randy Wilcox and PHS coach Mike Loutzenheiser are encouraging their players to participate in the Rock the Rim 3-on-3 basketball tournament.

The tournament is March 22 to 24 on the streets of downtown Phoenix near Patriot's Square Park.

Makeshift half-courts will be set up on the streets.

The tournament is open to all players 12 years of age and over.

To ensure the event remains competitive, the teams will be grouped into age and experience divisions.

The entry fee, except for the collegiate/professional division, is $100 per team. For the pros, it's $200. All proceeds benefit Phoenix Suns charities.

Games will be played to 20 points or 22 minutes whichever comes first. Baskets made are awarded one point and those outside the 19-foot, 9-inch arc are worth two points. Players will call their own fouls and court monitors will keep score and time.

All teams that enter are guaranteed at least two games. Entry forms are available from Wilcox at RCMS or Loutzenheiser at PHS.

For more information, visit www.suns.com.

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