Story by Zachary Larsen
If you’re craving more basketball, then the Section 7 event in Glendale, a major summer high school basketball tournament, was for you.
The tournament featured 160 different high schools from 12 states across the western part of the United States. All the games were played at State Farm Stadium over the weekend, where the football field was turned into one large arena that featured 12 courts.
— Section 7 (@Section7Az) June 16, 2021
Both boys’ and girls’ basketball programs participated in the tournament. Schools were put into brackets that included 16 teams playing an elimination-style tournament, with one team being crowned champion in its bracket.
The event began on Friday, June 18th and ended on Sunday, June 20th. It was the first time since 2019 that the tournament was held after the COVID-19 pandemic canceled it in 2020.
With the in-person recruiting dead period lifted in the NCAA, there was over 300-plus college coaches in attendance as some of the best schools in the country compete dagainst each other.
Some of Arizona’s top high school basketball programs were attending as well, including Mountain Pointe, Hamilton, Gilbert, Saint Mary’s, Centennial, Chandler, Perry and over 60 other schools from Arizona.
The West Valley dominated the tournament for the Arizona teams. On the girls’ side, Goodyear’s Millennium High School won its bracket by beating Mesa 43-37.
For the boys’, Paradise Honors, located in Surprise, were champions in their bracket, defeating Apollo 56-48. The Panthers finished the 2020-2021 season with a 20-3 record, losing to St. Mary’s in the 4A State Championship Game.
This next chapter isn’t gonna be a disappointment. These boys ready to pick up where we left off. pic.twitter.com/yKIiSqMrJ7
— Zach Hettel (@CoachHettelPHHS) June 21, 2021
Another Surprise team that shined was Shadow Ridge, who won its bracket beating Buckeye Union 76-62.
— Shadow Ridge Boys Basketball (@ShadowRidgeBoys) June 21, 2021
Tucson’s St. Augustine High School was victorious in its bracket beating San Jose, California’s Archbishop Mitty 78-59. Phoenix’s Brophy College Prep, which lost to Sunnyslope in the 6A semi-final playoff game last season, defeated Riverside Poly 54-50, making it four of the 11 brackets that a school from Arizona won.
The tournament received rave reviews from various coaches and schools as many athletes got an opportunity to showcase their talents in front of college coaches and scouts for the first time all season.
Thank you so much Matt King for having us at your @Section7Az. You, @AZBballCoaches, and Delano Family really took care of us. The love we were getting from everybody was AMAZING! Make sure you show @Section7Az some love. Great job!!! pic.twitter.com/zzwgkHgX9T
— Black Coaches Association (@BCAWORLDWIDE) June 21, 2021
Winners from the 11 brackets and 21 at-large bids will play in a 32-team “finals” weekend from June 25-27 at Brophy Prep.
Fans will be able to attend any game by purchasing tickets on the day of the tournament, including a $15 day pass or a three-day package for $30.