2020-2021 – Season Summary
The 2020-2021 season was unique in so many ways, but the thirteen players who made up the varsity basketball team—three seniors (Desi Burrage, Quentin Cibulka, and Michael Crossley), five juniors (Patrick Chew, Jacob Dolasinski, Ben Mills, JP Musselmann, and Miles Nash), three sophomores (Connor Fitzgerald, Arman Madi, and Leonard Romayor) and one freshman (Braeden Speed)—took each moment of potential adversity in stride. From the delay to the start of the season to the protocols that were implemented to allow for the season to take place safely, the team continued to focus on improving and becoming the best version of themselves, both individually and as a group.
Brophy finally tipped off the 2020-2021 season on January 19th against Valley Vista and were able to pull away from the Monsoon late in the game to secure a 57-41 victory to start the year. Over the next two weeks, the Broncos played a rigorous schedule that included five teams in the top-10 and two eventually state champions. By Saturday, February 6th, the team’s record sat at 3-4 as they headed down to Tucson to play Tucson High. Upon reflection, that road trip—a great opportunity for team bonding in a year when traditional tournaments were not a possibility due to AIA health and safety protocols—became a key moment in this team establishing an identity and team chemistry. After securing a win over Tucson, Brophy returned the following Tuesday to play on the road against Hamilton, a team they had lost to just two weeks earlier. The first half involved many long possessions, and Hamilton led at the half. Beginning in the third quarter, however, Brophy’s energy and defense sparked a second half turnaround that launched them to a 50-42 victory and helped to serve as a catalyst for the next several weeks of the season. Beginning with those two road wins over Tucson and Hamilton, Brophy closed the season by winning twelve out of thirteen games.
Two of the final three wins of the regular season came in unique fashion. On Tuesday, March 2nd and Wednesday, March 3rd, Brophy and Chandler played on back-to-back nights with Brophy winning the first game at home 69-54 and the second night 61-47 at Chandler. This was the first time in recent memory that games were played on back-to-back nights against the same opponent. The final game of the regular season was on Friday, March 5th at Perry, which was ranked #3 in the state and sat at 7-0 in Premier Region play. Brophy jumped out to a 21-12 lead after the first quarter and continued to lead 33-29 at the half. In a fast-paced third quarter, Perry was able to close the lead to 48-47 with one quarter remaining. In the fourth quarter, Brophy was able to put the game away with terrific free throwing shooting down the stretch (16-18 in the quarter) and won 74-64. They were paced offensively by Desi Burrage ’21 with twenty-four points, Patrick Chew ’22 with seventeen points, and Arman Madi ’23 with seventeen points.
In a shortened regular season of only seven weeks, Brophy played twenty games in forty-six days and finished the regular season with a 15-5 record and a #4 ranking going into the 6A state playoffs. That regular season finish gave them a first round bye in the state playoffs for the fifth year in a row. To open the 6A state playoffs, Brophy found itself matched up with Chandler for the third time in ten days. While the first two games had been highly competitive before Brophy pulled away in the second half, this game witnessed the Broncos clicking on all cylinders from the opening tip. The first quarter saw Brophy make six three-pointers in racing out to a 23-10 lead, and by the end of the third quarter that lead stretched to 71-37. Brophy went on to win 80-49 and moved on to the state quarterfinals against Liberty.
In a packed Robson Gymnasium on Saturday, March 13th, Brophy faced the Liberty Lions, the Desert Valley Region champion, for a chance to continue the season into the state semifinals. The game was up-tempo and tightly contested, and, although Brophy led for almost the entire first half, the Broncos were not able to shake the Lions. At halftime, Brophy was up 40-35. In the second half, Brophy was able to push the lead to 51-40 midway through the third quarter, but, again, Liberty clawed back into the game and trailed by only three going into the fourth quarter. In the final period, Brophy’s experience in close games—gained through playing in the toughest region in the state—became a huge factor. With ten seconds left, Liberty cut Brophy’s lead to 66-65, but junior point guard Miles Nash hit two free throws with 8.5 seconds left to extend the lead back to three points and Brophy held on to win 70-66 sending the Broncos into the semifinals against #1 seed Sunnyslope.
In a rematch of an early season matchup, Brophy headed to Sunnyslope on Thursday, March 18th for the state semifinals. Sunnyslope jumped out to an early lead and were able to extend it to fourteen points midway through the second quarter, but a well-executed out of bounds play from the baseline cut the lead to 25-35 at halftime. The Broncos continued to shrink the deficit in the third quarter behind some hot shooting from junior guard Patrick Chew who hit four three-pointers in the quarter, the last of which cut the deficit to 44-46 with about a minute left in the quarter. Sunnyslope would score again taking a four point lead into the fourth quarter. In the fourth quarter, Brophy would again cut the lead to two points before Sunnyslope ultimately pulled away and won the game. Brophy’s season came to a close with a 17-6 overall record and a fantastic run to the state semifinals.
The entire coaching staff would like to thank all of the 2020-2021 Brophy basketball players—particularly the three seniors—and families for their patience, flexibility, and hard work during a truly unique season. Special congratulations are extended to Premier Region Defensive Player of the Year Desi Burrage (’21), 1st Team selections Patrick Chew (’22) and Arman Madi (’23), 2nd Team selections JP Musselmann (’22) and Miles Nash (‘22), and Honorable Mention selections Quentin Cibulka (’21) and Braeden Speed (‘24). Patrick Chew was also named to the 6A All-Conference 2nd Team.
2020-2021 – Roster
Director of Basketball Operations: Sam Mills, ’22
2020-2021 – Schedule