It’s a freedom game squeezed in between several region games scheduled long ago.
It just happens to be between the top two teams in the 6A Conference boys basketball coaches in the final days of the regular season.
Top-ranked Pinnacle travels to No. 2 Brophy on Friday in one of the premier regular season games of the year. The Broncos are the top-ranked team in the AIA power rankings and the Pioneers are second.
Brophy has such a substantial lead – 23.65 to 17.89 – that it may end up with the top seed regardless of the result assuming the Broncos, who haven’t lost to an Arizona team all year, beat St. Mary’s to close out the regular season.
Mountain Pointe and Desert Vista are separated by one vote for third and fourth in the coaches poll.
There has been a sentiment all year that this is the first season in a long time that there are more than a handful of teams good enough to win a state title in Arizona’s big-school division.
“It’s as wide open as I have seen in a long time,” one coach said.
The next tier includes Hamilton, Red Mountain and Mesa. It should make for a great quarterfinal round as equally matched teams claw for that semifinal berth.
Additionally, Mountain View and Skyline were local teams that also received votes this week.
Here is a look at this week’s top 10:
6A Boys Basketball Coaches Poll (13 votes)
Team (Record) LW Points (First-place votes)
1. Pinnacle (18-6) 2 124 (7)
2. Brophy (22-1) 1 123 (6)
3. Mountain Pointe (22-2) 3 98
4. Desert Vista (21-4) 6 97
5. Hamilton (17-7) 4 74
6. Red Mountain (15-9) 7 68
7. Mesa (19-5) 5 55
8. Perry (13-12) 8 22
9. Gilbert (12-11) 9 17
10. Horizon (16-6) 10 11
Dropped out: None.
Others receiving votes: Chavez 10, Mountain View 9, Central 4, Chandler 2, Skyline 1.
– Jason P. Skoda is a senior writer for MyNewsMesa.com. Send Mesa-based story ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.