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Preview of the 2017 SWRC Basketball Tournament

YUMA, AZ – The 18th Annual Southwest Rotary Classic basketball tournament will be held Nov. 30 – Dec. 2, 2017 at Cibola High School, Gila Ridge High School, Kofa High School, and Yuma High School. The sixteen-team field includes schools from Nevada, California and Arizona.

It is the first time in three years that the tournament has expanded to 16 teams.

"We are excited that Tucson, Holtville, and Bonanza High Schools have joined an already exceptional field of teams from throughout the desert southwest," Cibola Athletic Director Mike Fritz said.   

Tickets can be purchased at the gym locations with concessions and souvenirs also available. The “All Tournament Pass” costs $15 and gives spectators access to games at all sites. Single-game tickets are $5 for adults and $1 for students with identification. Children 12 and under with an adult are free. Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) passes will be accepted. 

The tournament bracket is available on Cibola High School’s website as well as the tournament’s official Facebook page. Select games will also be live streamed on Facebook throughout the three-day tournament.

Below is a preview capsule of each team as well as a list of past champions and all of this year’s first-round matchups. All teams play Thursday, Nov. 30 at one of the area schools. Winning teams will advance in the Championship Bracket while losing teams will play in the Consolation Bracket. Each participating school is guaranteed four games.

PREVIEW

Bonanza Bengals (Las Vegas, NV)
Head Coach:
 Dan Savage
2016-17 Record: 7-14
Players to Watch: 
Chase Hafen (F, 6-foot-3, Sr.)
Quotable: 
“We are using this tournament as a team building experience and to play against some new teams,” Savage said. “We decided to attend the SWRC tournament because of the hospitality offered and the wide range of teams.”

Cibola Raiders
Head Coach:
 Ron Bratton 
2016-17 Record: 13-15
Players to Watch: 
C.J. Atherton (G/F, 6-foot, Sr.)
Ryan Curtis-Sanchez (PG, 5-foot-9, Sr.)
Glenn Baxter (F/C, 6-foot-3, Jr.)
Ivan Galindo (G, 5-foot-11, Sr.)
Robert Hinzo (F, 6-foot-1, Jr.) 
Quotable: 
“Cibola has had the pleasure to host the SWRC that brings teams from all over to give Yuma the best basketball that locals can see all year,” Bratton said. “Kevin Gettings and Steve Moore from the Rotary Club started this tradition and we are happy to continue and strive to make this the basketball tournament in Yuma.”

Copper Canyon Aztecs (Glendale, AZ)
Head Coach: Paul Murphy 
2016-17 Record: 20-9  
Players to Watch: 
Isaiah Marin (G/F, 6-foot-4, Jr.)
Quotable: 
“The tournament is always run great and very organized,” Murphy said.

Desert Oasis Diamondbacks (Las Vegas, NV)
Head Coach:
 Joseph Bedowitz
2016-17 Record: 13-15
Players to Watch: 
Jake Heese (G, 6-foot-3, Sr.) 
Nate Van (PG, 6-foot-1, So.)
Quotable: 
“It’s a chance to defend our 2016-17 SWRC championship,” Bedowitz said.

Dobson Mustangs (Mesa, AZ)
Head Coach:
 Rick McConnell 
2016-17 Record: 9-17 
Players to Watch: 
Johnathan Hunter (G, 6-foot-1, Sr.)
Josh Coker (G, 5-foot-10, Sr.)
Juhlawnei Stone (F, 6-foot-5, So.)
Zane Jacobs (F, 6-foot-2, Sr.)
Murvin Gordon (F, 6-foot, Sr.)
Mikel Mariscal (C, 6-foot-3, Sr.)
Quotable: 
“The tournament is well run, the people are nice and the accommodations are first-class,” McConnell said.

Gila Ridge Hawks
Head Coach:
 Joe Daily 
2016-17 Record: 16-12 (Third place in 4A Southwest Region) 
Players to Watch: 
Joel Adetiba (C, 6-foot-5, Sr.)
Francisco Peralta (G, 6-foot-1, Sr.)
Ryleigh North (F, 6-foot-3, Sr.)
Quotable: 
“This will be Gila Ridge's ninth-straight year attending the SWRC tournament.  Being from Yuma, we always are excited to play in this premiere tournament that brings teams from all over Arizona, California, and Nevada,” Daily said.

Holtville Bulldogs
Head Coach:
 Tony Ramos
2016-17 Record: 10-16 (Lost in second round of CIF-SD Section playoffs) 
Players to Watch: 
Ben Rolfe (G, 5-foot-11, Jr.)
Quotable: 
“In order to be competitive in any sport, one must travel to play a higher standard competition,” Ramos said. “When Holtville used to participate in this tournament, the competition was very competitive.”

Kofa Kings
Head Coach:
 Jeff Frazine 
2016-17 Record: 9-18 
Players to Watch: 
Chuy Ortiz (G, 5-foot-10, Sr.)
Jeremy Smith (G, 5-foot-10, Sr.)
Quotable: 
“This tournament gives us a great opportunity to target and assess areas of refinement and tighten up our Xs and Os going into the season against quality opponents,” Frazine said.   

Lake Havasu Knights
Head Coach:
 Ted Darnell 
2016-17 Record: 11-17 
Players to Watch: 
Ryan Hopp (PG, 5-foot-7, Sr.)
Noah Boyd (F, 5-foot-10, Jr.)
Cole Wade (G, 5-foot-9, Jr.)
Quotable: 
“It's a good tournament for our program and it's ran well,” Darnell said. “It offers plenty of good matchups.”

Mountain View Christian Saints (Las Vegas, NV)
Head Coach: Travis Sobers 
2016-17 Record: 5-22 
Players to Watch: 
Terrence Brooks (PG, 6-foot-2, Sr.)
Tyrell Brooks (G/F, 6-foot-2, Sr.)
Quotable: 
“It is fantastic early season team-builder for us,” Sobers said. “The tournament is well run and the city is a fantastic visit in the late fall.”

Palo Verde Panthers 
Head Coach:
 Paul Sanchez
2016-17 Record: 10-16 (Lost in first round of playoffs to Bishop Gormon)
Players to Watch: 
Dylan Yoro (G, 6-foot-0, Sr.)
Mitch Olsen (G, 6-foot-1, Sr.)
Crew Peterson (G, 6-foot-2, Sr.)
Daniel Bellinger (C, 6-foot-6, Sr.)
Tieman Allen (G, 6-foot-6, Sr.)
Cade Lowerwald (G, 6-foot-3, Jr.)
Quotable: 
We have been coming to Yuma for a long time and enjoy the trip and the chance to play out of state teams,” Sanchez said.

San Luis Sidewinders
Head Coach:
 Tim Morrison
2016-17 Record: 13-14 (Sub-Section Champions in the 6A Southern Region) 
Players to Watch: 
Joseph Parra (F, 6-foot-1, Sr.)
Gilberto Roman (C, 6-foot-5, Sr.) 
Edgar Silva (F, 6-foot-3, Sr.) 
Quotable: 
“It’s an opportunity to support Yuma-area basketball and it’s always good competition,” Morrison said.

Tucson Badgers
Head Coach:
 Daron Cross 
2016-17 Record: 11-15 
Players to Watch: 
Derek Williams (PG, 6-foot, Sr.)   
Deshaun Bowens (G, 5-foot-9, Sr.)   
Angel Marin (G, 6-foot, Sr.)   
Eddie Cordova (SF, 6-foot-2, Sr.)
Quotable: 
“It is an opportunity to compete against out of town/state teams we do not see during the season,” Cross said. “It’s also an opportunity to build more team chemistry.”

Youngker Roughriders
Head Coach:
 Jake Nelson
2016-17 Record: 9-16 
Players to Watch: 
Mikey Guzman (PG, 6-foot, Sr.)
Dalvin Redhouse (SG, 5-foot-11, Sr.)
Quotable: 
“We love the tournament. Great area, great people,” Nelson said. 

Yuma Criminals 
Head Coach:
 Curt Weber
2016-17 Record: 3-23
Players to Watch: 
Isaac Ignacio (G, 6-foot, Sr.)
Damian Miller (F, 6-foot-1, Sr.)
Gio Grant (F/C, 6-foot-4, Sr.)
Tyler Hamilton (G/F, 6-foot-4, Jr.)
Erick Flores (G, 6-foot, Jr.)
Devin Epley (C, 6-foot-4, So.)
Quotable: 
"Attending the Rotary Classic is always a great early-season test,” Weber said. “It gives the players a chance to compete against teams from all over the Southwest and playing four games in three days helps with conditioning. Overall, the tournament makes us better and that's always a good thing."

Yuma Catholic Shamrocks

Head Coach: Brooks Neumann 

2016-17 Record: 18-9 (Lost in second round of 3A state playoffs) 
Players to Watch: 
Parley Kirkham (G, 6-foot-2, Sr.)
J.R. Henderson (G, 5-foot-10, Jr.)
Jason Pisano (F, 6-foot, Sr.)
Randall Voutt (F, 6-foot-1, Jr.)
Quotable: 
“Always great competition with all the local teams, plus some outstanding out of town teams,” Neumann said.

FIRST ROUND SCHEDULE

At Cibola High School
5:30 p.m. Tucson vs. San Luis
7:00 p.m. Lake Havasu vs. Dobson
8:30 p.m. Cibola vs. Holtville

At Gila Ridge High School
5:30 p.m. Copper Canyon vs. Mt. View Christian
7:00 p.m. Gila Ridge vs. Bonanza

At Kofa High School 
5:30 p.m. Yuma Catholic vs. Youngker
7:00 p.m. Desert Oasis vs. Kofa

At Yuma High School
6:00 p.m. Palo Verde vs. Yuma

PAST CHAMPIONS

2000      Cibola High School
2001      Scripps Ranch High School (San Diego)
2002      Palo Verde High School (Las Vegas)
2003      Palo Verde High School (Las Vegas)
2004      Palo Verde High School (Las Vegas)
2005      Canyon Springs High School (Las Vegas)
2006      Canyon Springs High School (Las Vegas)
2007      Kofa High School (Yuma)
2008      Yuma High School (Yuma)
2009      Centennial High School (Las Vegas)
2010      Arbor View High School (Las Vegas)
2011      Basha High School
2012      Vista Grande High School
2013      Centennial High School (Las Vegas)
2014      Cienega High School
2015      Mountain Pointe High School
2016      Desert Oasis High School (Las Vegas)

Eric Patten
epatten@yumaunion.org