High school basketball and soccer standouts from Santa Cruz County earned numerous all-region recognitions from the Arizona Interscholastic Association for their performances this past season.
In addition, NHS senior basketball star Dominique Acosta was named to the third-team Arizona All-State Girls Basketball Team presented by Suddenlink, which takes into account players in all six of the state’s conferences. A story about the recognition posted to MaxPreps.com called her “one of the top interior players in the state,” and noted that Acosta finished sixth in the state in rebounding at 13.3 per game while averaging 20.5 points.
She also tallied 1.3 blocks per game while shooting 60 percent from the field.
In the AIA’s 5A Conference Southern Region, two Nogales High School basketball players were named the offensive player of the year.
Acosta won the honor on the girls’ side, while Steven Legleu of NHS earned the boys’ distinction after a season in which he averaged 19.8 points per game.
Legleu’s teammate Julian Grijalva (16.5 points, 7.3 rebounds) was named to the boys all-region second team, and Eden Harrison, Daniella Ochoa and Jessica Villarino were girls honorable mentions.
The NHS boys soccer team placed three players on the all-Southern Region first team: defender Miguel Valdez, forward Diego Gracia and midfielder Gabriel Barraza.
Four Apaches were named to the girls all-region second team, including midfielders Ximena Parra, Valeria Rodriguez Flores and Ashley Cañedo, and forward Penelope Garate-Muñoz. Layla Lopez was an honorable mention.
Rio Rico High School senior Luisayde Chavez was the girls basketball player of the year in the 4A Conference Gila Region after she averaged 18 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.1 steals per game. Coach Billy Hix, in his first year at the helm of the RRHS girls hoop team, was co-coach of the year after the Hawks finished first in the region.
April Martinez, who averaged 13.7 points per game and made 88 three-pointers – third-most in state – was picked for the girls all-region first team.
The all-region second team featured two more Hawks – Nicolette Pesqueira (7.9 points, 4.4 rebounds) and Alexis Mora (4.8 rebounds) – while Yamileth Barcelo and Alexia Cano were honorable mention selections.
On the boys hoop side, RRHS senior Mario Alvarado (13.4 points, 3.2 rebounds) was the player of the year in the Gila Region, while Frank Arellano was the coach of the year after leading the Hawks to the regional crown.
Rene Arvizu, who averaged 10.3 points and 5.3 rebounds for the Hawks, was named to the all-region first team and Sebastian Alvarez (6.6 points, 1.3 steals) was a second-team selection.
Honorable mentions included Habid Calderon, Cade Fanning, Issai Ramirez and Elian Velasquez.
The RRHS boys soccer team had two of its members named to the all-region second team: defender Robert Villegas and forward David Ramirez. Another four Hawks made honorable mention, including defenders Axel Covarrubias and Carlos Vasquez, and midfielders Jahaziel Estrada and Omar Vasquez.
Taylor Lunderville, a midfielder for the Hawks girls soccer team, was a first-team all-region pick. Three more Hawks – defender Alejandra Fuentes, forward Cecile Baker and goalie Samantha Renteria – were chosen for the second team.
Honorable mention selections included defender Giselle Bojorquez and midfielders Krista Niebla, Sophia Renteria and Cynthia Villagran.
Patagonia Union High School’s first-year boys basketball coach Nate Porter was named the 1A Conference South Region coach of the year after the team went 9-7 in the regular season and upset two-time defending state champions The Gregory School in both the regional and state tournaments.
Two Lobos players were named to the South Region’s first team: Lalo Aguilar (15.6 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.9 steals per game) and Julian Vasquez (9.2 points, 10.8 rebounds). Santiny Aguilar was an honorable mention all-region performer.