Fri, Dec

Mingus prepares for open region


Mingus Union High School’s boys basketball team will have a bit of a different look than in the past few years.

Heading into the season it was set to have just four seniors. The sudden addition of five more to the cast of Marauders has in a way flipped the script for head coach Dave Beery; he now has depth, length and athleticism to count on that he had not had before.

“We’ve had some unknowns that have been filled somewhat recently,” Beery said. “I think with some of the athleticism .... It’ll help us get up and down the court. We have some height, we don’t have a whole lot of bulk. Most of our tall guys are pretty slight, but they also move pretty well for their size.”

Many of the new additions came out during the summer and spent time playing together since. They include additions from the football team in senior forward Martin Soria and senior guard Tyler Kelly, tabbed by Beery as leaders and big-time competitors, as well as senior guard Jose Pacheco, who has played with the Marauders in the past.

Offensively it will be the same — the fast-paced, volume-shooting offense the Marauders used in years past.

Last year’s team relied on playing a 2-3 zone defensively, and it stuck to it. However this year, much to Beery’s liking, he expects to play a bit more man-to-man. Additions like the aforementioned Pacheco, Kelly and Soria add the tools needed to execute it.

That trio is part of the bigger quiver of players available to Beery to put on the floor. Junior guard Chase Saczalski transferred from Sedona Red Rock High School, and the Arizona Interscholastic Association granted his hardship appeal, so he will not have to sit out 50 percent of the season.

Senior guards Kaynen Loring and Bryce Cramer worked over summer to get prepared for bigger roles.
More depth means a greater ability to run the floor.

“We’re definitely going to push it a lot more, since we’re a lot deeper,” senior forward Michael Bryan said. “Since we’re so deep we’re going to try to really keep it going, be aggressive on defense, try to get out and run, try to outrun teams.”

A few of the better shooters are gone through graduation. That is the X factor for this year’s team, Beery said, as well as their response to adversity.

“We don’t have as good of shooting overall as we’ve had the last few years. How we shoot the ball will be a big factor for us,” Beery said. “And kind of how we handle ourselves when we don’t play well. Good teams win games that they probably shouldn’t win sometimes, when they don’t have their best day they still win. I still haven’t seen that a whole lot from these guys.”

Part of that has to do with the players’ experience. Out of all of them, only four have real varsity experience: Bryan, junior guard Chaz Taylor, Soria from his time at 1A Williams High School and Saczalski from 2A Red Rock.

“We’re old but we’re young, if that makes sense,” Beery said.

Last season the troupe of Marauders started off slow, going 2-4 the first time through the Grand Canyon Region schedule before going 3-3 to finish in fourth. Its season ended at the hands of eventual champion Flagstaff High School in the second round of the region tournament.

The Eagles lost a strong senior class, and Beery anticipates the most competitive and wide-open region he has been a part of. Mohave High School returns the player of the year and Lee Williams High School is much improved.

“I don’t think there’s a team in it that we can beat by 20, and I don’t think there’s a team in it that can beat us by 20 consistently. There might be a few games that get away from people, but to me it looks like every game is going to be a dogfight, I think it’s going to be that way for everybody,” Beery said. “I don’t think they [Flagstaff] are as far ahead as it used to be so I really think there’s a lot of teams that can be competitive.”

The nonregion schedule is tough too, including the opener at home against Dysart High School on Tuesday, Nov. 21, but results were unavailable at press time. Other matchups include Higley High School and Cactus High School.

2017-18 Schedule

[November to middle of December]

Nov. 28, 7 p.m.
@ Cactus High School

Dec. 1 and 2
@ Red Rock Hoops Classic
@ Sedona Red Rock High School

Dec. 4, 7 p.m.
@ Mohave High School*

Dec. 6, 7 p.m.
@ Prescott High School*

Dec. 12, 7 p.m.
@ Washington High School

Dec. 15, 7 p.m.
vs. Bradshaw Mountain High School*

*denotes Grand Canyon Region contest


2017-18 Roster


Michael Bryan, forward
Kaynen Loring, guard
Tanner Bryson, guard
Bryce Cramer, guard
Alex Figy, forward
Kyren Kirton, center

Martin Soria, forward
Tyler Kelly, guard
Jose Pacheco, guard

Chaz Taylor, guard
Colton Sorensen, forward

Chase Saczalski, guard

Online Poll

Toy drives like Toys for Tots