The Skyline boys basketball team has rid itself of past struggles and has made history this season.
The Coyotes used to be overmatched and run off the court.
From 2004-05 to 2015-16 Skyline averaged 8.75 wins a year including four seasons of six wins or less.
That seems like eons ago after what Skyline has achieved this season as the Coyotes have a 14-12 record, won a postseason game in the play-in tournament and will make their first ever state playoff appearance on Tuesday when they travel to No. 5 Mountain Pointe.
“They said it couldn’t be done,” the Skyline Twitter account tweeted. “They said it would never happen. Well you must not know what we are about.”
Skyline is led by freshman Patrick Herrera (11.5 points), junior Donovan Jackson (11.0 points, 3.0 assists), sophomore Dayton Harris (10.9 points, 4.0 assists) and senior Dominik Moore (8.2 points, 5.7 rebounds).
It’s been a great turnaround since James Capriotti took over the program three years ago when the Coyotes went 3-22 and then improved to 12-14 last year before getting just the second winning season since 2004-05.
The Coyotes will be joined in the 6A Conference playoffs by No. 6 Red Mountain (18-9) and No. 7 Mesa (21-5) on Tuesday.
The Mountain Lions host No. 11 Desert Mountain (16-12) with the winner advancing to Friday’s quarterfinals against either No. 14 Cesar Chavez (19-9) or No. 3 Desert Vista (23-4).
The Jackrabbits host No. 10 Gilbert (15-11) with the winner advancing to play either No. 15 Highland (10-17) or No. 2 Pinnacle (19-7) on Friday.
The play-in game knocked out the No. 12 Mountain View boys squad (13-12), which lost 55-50 to then-No. 21 Highland.
It left Gary Ernst with 890 career wins heading into next season.
On the girls side, two teams qualified for the play-in portion with No. 14 Dobson beating No. 19 Copper Canyon 43-28 and No. 21 Westwood (17-10) falling 65-37 to No. 12 Horizon (16-13).
The Mustangs (19-9) join No. 8 Red Mountain (20-6) in the 6A Conference state tournament.
The Mountain Lions will host No. 9 Tucson (24-3) on Wednesday with the winner advancing to face either No. 16 Chandler (13-13) or No. 1 Millennium (21-6) on Saturday.
Red Mountain enters with a seven-game winning streak and is led by senior Amaya West at 13.7 points and 7.4 rebounds, junior Jacquelyn Ries at 9.4 points and 2.9 steals and freshman Mya Johnson at 7.9 points and 2.1 assists.
Dobson travels to No. 3 Gilbert (24-3) with the winner facing either No. 11 Hamilton (20-8) or No. 6 Desert Mountain (22-6) on Saturday.
– Jason P. Skoda is a senior writer for MyNewsMesa.com. Send Mesa-based story ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.