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December 28, 2011

VisitMesa.com Basketball Challenge day one

Arizona Preps was on hand for day one of this year's 5th Annual VisitMesa.com Basketball Challenge.

It was an exciting day with so many good teams in competition.

Tournament Director's Marc Beasley and Dr. Steve Hogen do an excellent job each year of putting together an excellent event with very good teams and an electric atmosphere. This year's event is no different, as there are some very impressive match-ups throughout the event.

The best match-up of the night saw top-ranked Corona Del Sol take on defending state champion Tucson Amphitheater HS in the final game of the evening on day one. Corona would run away with the game, 78-62, behind a fast-breaking style of play that was higlighted by the play of 6-foot-2 sophomore point guard Casey Benson. Benson's play was very strong in his team's victory, while Arizona State signee, 6-foot-3 senior guard Calaen Robinson looked impressive athletically, but struggled in his decision making often times throughout the game.

San Francisco signee, 6-foot-4 senior forward Tim Derksen looked strong in his team's loss. The skilled and tough Derksen could not keep his team in the game as the Aztecs cruised to victory early. San Francsico assistant coach Justin Bauman was on hand to watch his recruit.

The best prospect on the day was, no doubt, Mesa Mountain View's 6-foot-8 sophomore post Payton Dastrup. Already possessing a division-I offer from Utah State, Dastrup shares a resemblance to a young Nick Collison (NBA power forward). Dastrup has broad shoulders and excellent physical strength. He has the body already of a developed senior post, and he is still growing a great deal. Dastrup runs the floor quite well and is an excellent finisher around the basket already.

Dastrup's play would help lead his Mountain View Toros to a nice 66-35 blowout victory over Horizon HS.

Mountain View head coach Gary Ernst has turned out such talented prospects as Harper Kamp (University of Cal), Brendon Lavender (University of Arizona), Stephen Rogers (BYU) and Kendall Wallace (UNLV) in recent years. Now throw Dastrup into that list of future top-rated talents. This young man is an elite high-major division-I prospect.

Pinnacle HS also looked very strong in their big 77-49 win over Arcadia HS. While looking to contain 6-foot-3 star senior guard Larry Lewis, Pinnacle utilized a well-balanced scoring attack to route Arcadia. Pinnacle would never look back in the game - proving again that they are among the elite few teams in the state.

Mountain Pointe HS (9-1) would drop their first game of the high school season Tuesday morning, as they would fall at the hands of visiting Gahr HS (CA) - 61-58.

Dobson HS would roll to a narrow 62-57 win over Chaparral HS and new head coach Damin Lopez. Arizona State commit, 6-foot-4 sophomore guard Kodi Justice would shoot the basketball at a high clip in the victory - impressing those in attendance with his ability to make shots.

Red Mountain HS (12-3) would prove again that they are a force to be wreckoned with this high school season - winning in two different games on the day. First, a 74-68 win over Bartlett HS (AK) in the first game of the tournament, then a 57-53 win over an athletic McClymonds HS (CA) program.

Red Mountain HS 5-foot-11 senior Kevin Torres turned in another strong effort on the day for himself - showcasing his unique quickness and ball handling skills with the basketball in his hands.

While Desert Vista HS would see a narrow, 64-63, defeat at the hands of American Fork HS (UT), the play of 6-foot-8 sophomore post Connor MacDougall would be worthy of attention. The talented sophomore post showed improved athleticism and very good toughness inside the paint.

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