2016-2017 – Season Summary
The 2016-2017 varsity basketball team included seven seniors – Daniel Bonner, Sean Dunn, Matthew Kempton, Preston Kuhl, Ryan Meza, Carlos Saucedo, and Drew Shear, six juniors – Jaxson Baker, Colin Besh, Ian Burke, Conor Dunn, Xavier Juniel, and Ben Paul, and one sophomore – Marques White. With seven returning players, the team set its sights on improving throughout the season, winning its first playoff game since 2012, and making a run at the school’s first state basketball title. Following a close loss to Mountain Pointe to open the season, the Broncos won all four of their PowerPoints games, including a hard-fought victory on the road at perennial powerhouse Mountain View. A season highlight was returning to the Fr. Barry Classic hosted by Jesuit High School in Sacramento, and competing against top private schools in California. After losing to St. Francis (Mountain View, California) – the eventual tournament champion – in the first round, the Broncos rebounded to win their next two games and finish as the consolation bracket winner. Burke averaged 11 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists per game and was named to the All-Tournament team.
Following this strong start, Brophy entered the McClintock Holiday Shootout as one of the tournament’s top seeds. After defeating Tempe 73-44 in the first round, they faced a motivated Arcadia team hoping to avenge a first-round loss from last year. Down late in the game, the Broncos fought back to prevail 75-71 in double OT. Brophy played well against Hamilton in the semifinals, but lost 46-44 on a buzzer-beater. Regrouping, the Broncos took third with a 55-48 win over Chandler. Guard/forward Kempton, who averaged 14 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists per game, was named to the All-Tournament team.
Coming off the holiday break, the Broncos hit a tough stretch, losing a hard-fought home game in OT to Basha, the eventual state champion, and then losing at Chandler. Facing Hamilton on the road, Brophy was hungry for a victory. After trailing through three quarters, Brophy launched a fourth-quarter comeback outscoring the Huskies 20-8 en route to a 57-48 victory. Reflecting, the coaching staff felt this win was a key moment in the season. Brophy went on to win nine of their last 11 regular-season games, including wins over four top-10 teams and a 63-59 road victory over longtime rival, St. Mary’s.
Ultimately, the Broncos completed one of the most challenging schedules in the state with a 13-5 record, placing them No. 6 out of 41 teams in 6A and giving them a first-round bye in the playoffs. Opening against No. 11-seed, Hamilton, the Broncos put together a solid defensive effort, holding Hamilton to only one point in the second quarter, and winning 48-41. Moving on to the state quarter-finals, Brophy faced Desert Vista on the road. After a tough back-and-forth game, and down by only a point at two minutes, Brophy couldn’t close the gap, losing 59-53.
The coaching staff would like to thank the players and families for their hard work and dedication throughout the season – especially the seniors. The Class of 2017 helped Brophy finish with its best season since the 2010-2011 team’s run to the state championship game, and they will be greatly missed. Congratulations to Premier Region first team selections Dunn, Kempton and Burke, as well as Premier Region honorable mention selections Shear and Baker. Kempton also was named to AZCentral’s All-6A honorable mention team.
2016-2017 – Roster
Directors of Basketball Operations: John Zacher, ’17 and Brooks Fanger, ’19
Team Manager: George Rivera, ’17