2022-23 ARCHIVES  



0 Nathan Linden 6' 0 165 Sr.
1 Luke Balanzetis - C 6' 5 190 Sr.
2 Nazir Richardson 6' 2 170 Jr.
3 Jaelen Green 6' 3 170 Jr.
4 Jaden Acuna - C 6' 0 190 Sr.
5 Golden Thibaudeau - C 6' 1 180 Sr.
10 Reece Dolezal 5'10 150 Jr.
11 Jveonte Kidd 6' 0 150 Jr.
15 KiAn Azarpay 6' 2 170 Sr.
20 Gus Cardon * 5'10 145 So.
21 Dylan Hunt 6' 4 165 Jr.
24 Christion Fleming 6' 2 160 So.
32 Danny Hesse 6' 5 230 Jr.
33 Tyler Latog 5’ 9 150 Jr.
  Miles Damra     Jr.
  (C) Team Captains
* On more than one team





Oakley Palmer 6’ 2 155 So.


Zane Long 5’ 8 125 So.


Tillman Huish * 6’ 0 135 Fr.


Grant Goodman 6’ 1 175 So.


Omar Salim 6’ 1 160 So.


Nash Coons 5’ 10 155 So.


Niko Hernandez 5’ 9 135 So.


Nolan Kramer 6’ 4 155 So.


Brady Ernst * 5’ 7 120 Fr.


Eli Schlitt * 6’ 0 135 Fr.


Amir Pierson 6’ 1 165 So.


Andrew Nichols * 6’ 4 190 Fr.


Parks Gaylord 6’ 0 170 So.
  Blaze Thibaudeau 6’ 1 165 So.
  * On more than one team  



1 Brady Ernst * 5’ 7 120 Fr.
3 Tillman Huish * 6’ 0 135 Fr.
5 Luis Mateo 5’ 10 130 Fr.
10 Jack Seeley 5’ 5 110 Fr.
15 Griffin Henstein 5’ 8 125 Fr.
20 Caleb Dorny 5’ 8 125 Fr.
22 Andrew Nichols * 6’ 4 190 Fr.
23 Brock Frey 5’ 6 120 Fr.
25 Eli Schlitt * 6’ 0 135 Fr.
32 Champ Naegle 5’ 8 135 Fr.
33 Malachi Hicks 6’ 3 160 Fr.
44 Alex Rios 6’ 2 140 Fr.
  * On more than one team  
  Varsity Head Coach
Jay Caserio
  Assistant Coaches
Scott Newendyke
Clyde Myles
Jason James
Stevie Newendyke
Gary Ernst
  Official Book
Joel Pearlman
Jason James
Mr. Brian Winter
  Athletic Director
Jason Fekete
Lisa Campbell-McClanahan





11/21 T Chandler 49-51 0-1
11/22 T Casteel 44-46 0-2
11/23 T Valley Vista 43-51 0-3
11/25 T Eastmark 47-39 1-3
11/29 A Pinnacle 59-75 1-4


12/01 A Skyline 47-18 2-4
12/06 H Campo Verde 43-47 2-5
12/08 A Mesquite 55-53 3-5
12/09 H Westwood 62-35 4-5
12/14 H Hamilton 40-31 5-5
12/16 A Perry 51-77 5-6
12/27 T AZ College Prep 47-40 6-6
12/28 T Cienega 66-61 7-6
12/29 T Eastmark 53-31 8-6
12/30 T Paradise Honors 60-44 9-6


01/10 A Brophy Prep 52-86 9-7
01/13 A Desert Ridge 45-42 10-7
01/16 H Queen Creek 81-60 11-7
01/17 H Highland 42-54 11-8
01/19 A Corona del Sol 52-53 11-9
01/24 H Desert Vista 61-38 12-9
01/26 A Highland 48-53 12-10
01/27 H Desert Ridge 55-37 13-10
01/31 A Queen Creek 54-44 14-10


02/02 H Corona del Sol 48-37 15-10
02/03 A Desert Vista 69-59 16-10


02/08 A ALA-Gilbert North 55-62 16-11


02/16 A #8 Tucson 57-56 17-11
02/22 A #1 Highland 38-55 17-12


11/21 HOME   AWAY  
3:30p Eastmark 31 Perry 85
5:00p Valley Vista 60 Casteel 72
6:30p Gilbert 49 Chandler 51
8:00p Desert Ridge 32 Corona del Sol 53
11/22 HOME   AWAY  
3:30p Eastmark 57 Corona del Sol 44
5:00p Perry 76 Desert Ridge 21
6:30p Gilbert 44 Casteel 46
8:00p Chandler 62 Valley Vista 63
11/23 HOME   AWAY  
3:30p Eastmark 75 Desert Ridge 60
5:00p Casteel 64 Chandler 36
6:30p Gilbert 43 Valley Vista 51
8:00p Corona del Sol 27 Perry 82
11/25 HOME   AWAY  
12:30p Desert Ridge 50 Chandler 62
2:00p Gilbert 47 Eastmark 39
3:30p Valley Vista 67 Corona del Sol 37
5:00p Casteel 39 Perry 73





Highland's first half sinks Gilbert
February 22, 2023 by Les Willsey, AZPreps365

If there was trepidation from #1 seed Highland prior to Wednesday night's 6A quarterfinal matchup with arch-rival and 6A Central Region rival #9 Gilbert, it was erased quickly.

The teams matched up for the third time this season. Highland claimed two Central Region games 10 days apart in January. The most recent meeting (53-48 on Jan. 26 the closest of the two).

But Highland put Gilbert on the defensive from the get-go in this one, built a 29-14 halftime advantage and went on to claim a decisive 55-38 triumph at Highland.

Highland (27-3) advances to the conference semifinals on March 1. Highland's semi foe is fifth-seed Mesa Mountain View. Mountain View advanced posting a 61-55 road win over #4 Pinnacle. Gilbert, last season's 5A runner-up, finished the season 18-12.

Highland was paced by seniors Isaac Kaps and Noah Peterson. Kaps finished with eight points - six in the first period. Two of his three baskets in the quarter were layups off steals. Peterson added a steal resulting in a three-point play helping the Hawks lead 14-7 at quarter's end. Peterson led all scorers with 19 points spreading his scoring across all four quarters.

Gilbert wasn't able to make a significant run in the second half. The Tigers sliced two points off Highland's halftime advantage (44-31) after three quarters. Their deficit was 46-36 with 3:54 to play, but Highland closed with a 9-2 run over the final 3 1/2 minutes.

Highland received balanced scoring among its starters. Hayden Winegar joined Peterson in double figures with 10 points. Michael Johnson added seven points and Brock Knollmiller chipped in six points. Gilbert was led by senior Jaden Acuna with 15 points.

Gilbert eliminated from open bracket after strong second half from ALA-Gilbert

February 08, 2023 by Everett Williams/ASU Student Journalist

The Gilbert Tigers fell to ALA-Gilbert North 62-55 on the road Wednesday night after a strong swing of momentum went the Eagles' way.

Up by eight at halftime, Gilbert started the third quarter slowly by missing its first three shots then turning the ball over on its fourth possession. This fueled the rowdy crowd as ALA-Gilbert closed the margin to two points early in the third quarter.

The control that Gilbert had in the first half was quickly getting swallowed as the momentum swung hard ALA-Gilbert’s way. After a botched inbound play from Gilbert led to a transition 3-pointer from ALA-Gilbert, the gymnasium erupted.

Fans rose to their feet and the student section became a rowdy frenzy. Gilbert tried to slow the game down. A heavily contested lay-up did not bounce the Tigers' way and the ball was flung downcourt to ALA-Gilbert’s Brandon Phelps. Phelps stepped around the defender on the contested fastbreak layup and drew the foul as the ball kissed off the window and into the net. The whistle could barely be heard through the roar of the crowd. ALA-Gilbert took the life out of the Tigers at that moment.

ALA-Gilbert took control from that sequence at the 1:20 mark in the third quarter.

“Second half they wanted it more than us,” said coach Jay Caserio. “They picked up their defense and their pressure. They turned us over way too many times in the second half. We couldn’t take care of the basketball. Credit to Coach Novak and his ability to have his guys pick up their pressure in the second half.”

The Tigers were outscored in the second half 37-22. ALA-Gilbert changed their second-half defense, switching from only zone to man-to man and zone. This confused the Tigers offensively.

“They changed their defenses so much that it can kind of confuse you and get you sped up,” Caserio said.

ALA-Gilbert’s McGuire Andrus led all scorers with 20 points and pushed the pace of play all night. Jaden Acuna had 13 points and Jalen Green added 12.

The first half was controlled by the visiting Gilbert squad. The Tigers opened the game with impressive poise as they stretched their lead to eight midway through the second quarter. But the playoff environment is something that this Tiger team had never seen before.

“That’s the first time that any of those guys have been in that environment in the playoffs,” Caserio said. “And you can kind of see the lack of experience in the second half kind of rear its ugly head, for sure.”

The Tigers battled through the tough environment, but in the end, the combination of inside and outside scoring from the Eagles proved to be too much. The Tigers have been eliminated from the open bracket for the state championship, but still remain alive in the 6A playoffs.

“Good environment on the road. It would have been a nice one to get, obviously. I am proud of my guys, but our season’s not over. We got have to bounce back in the 6A tournament,” said Caserio

Gilbert tames Desert Ridge, 55-37

January 27, 2023 by Les Willsey, AZPreps365

Gilbert took care of business quickly Friday night in its second match-up with 6A Central Region and city rival Desert Ridge. This game was nothing like the Tigers 45-42 victory over the Jaguars two weeks ago.

Gilbert outscored Desert Ridge 16-3 in the first quarter and never wavered in posting a 55-37 triumph at The Jungle. Gilbert, ranked 14th in the latest 6A power-rankings, improved to 13-10 overall and 4-3 in region play. That's good for second place behind region leader Highland (7-0 region). Desert Ridge entered play 25th in the power-rankings and fell to 8-15, 3-5.

Gilbert held Desert Ridge scoreless for nearly the first five minutes of the first quarter. Desert Ridge's only points were a three-point play by junior post Greg Bienvenue at the 3:07 mark. Gilbert scored the first eight points of the period and closed it with another 8-0 run. Senior guard Jaden Acuna netted 11 points of his 16 first-half points in the quarter. Acuna finished with a game-high 18 points.

The second quarter wasn't much different. Gilbert got more players involved in their scoring with reserve Golden Thibaudeau connecting for six of his nine points. The Tigers took a 31-8 lead to the lockerroom. Bienvenue led Desert Ridge with nine points and junior Payton Lapping checked in with eight points.

Gilbert's 2nd quarter spurs victory

December 14, 2022 by Les Willsey, AZPreps365

Hamilton's and Gilbert's boys basketball teams played on the final night of last season. Meaning they were playing for state titles - Hamilton against Perry in the 6A final and Gilbert vying with Centennial for 5A supremacy. Both took home runner-up trophies.

With their starting lineups last season decimated by graduation losses, they are rebuilding this season. Both are works in progress.

Gilbert has the better of play thus far. The Tigers evened their season record at 5-5 thanks to their 40-31 victory Wednesday night over Hamilton at The Jungle. Hamilton saw its record dip to 1-9 with road loss.

Gilbert senior forward Luke Balazentis guided the victory with a strong first half. Balazentis scored 13 of his game-high 15 points in the first half. Those helped stake Gilbert to a 21-12 lead at intermission. Nine of Balazentis first-half points were scored in the second quarter in which the Tigers outscored Hamilton, 15-4. The Tigers had five players score either five or four points to complement Balazentis scoring.

Hamilton played Gilbert even for the first 10 minutes of the game. The Huskies two baskets in the second quarter were scored six minutes apart - both by Nazir Davis (team-high 12 points). Their final lead was 10-8 at the 6:55 mark of the second. Gilbert followed with a 13-0 run over the next five minutes with six consecutive points from Balazentis initiating the run. Hamilton cut a 26-17 deficit to six twice in the third quarter, but got no closer.

Hamilton takes about a two-week break from play. The Huskies compete in the annual McClintock Holiday Shootout Dec. 26-29 at McClintock High. Gilbert has one more regular-season game before the holiday break. The Tigers visit Perry on Friday.

Gilbert gets 10 days off after facing Perry to take part in the Legacy Games - a new event - set for Dec. 27-30 at Bell Bank Park in Mesa. Schools joining Gilbert in the event are Cienega, Arizona College Prep, Paradise Honors, Eastmark, Desert Ridge and Strathmore, Alberta CN.

Casteel nips Gilbert in overtime

November 22, 2022 by Les Willsey, AZPreps365

Host Gilbert High and Casteel locked up Tuesday in the best game of the second day of the annual Welcome to the Jungle Tournament.

Casteel was a tad better, rallying from 11 points down in the third quarter to take a 46-44 overtime win over Gilbert. 

Five players combined to score Casteel's seven points in the extra period. The final tie was 42-all. The Colts took the lead for good on a 44-42 on a runner in the lane by Nate Ko with 46 seconds left. One free throw each by Aiden Schmidt and Sean Chance sandwiched around a layup by Gilbert's Jaelen Green had Casteel up by the final score with 9.4 seconds left. Gilbert offered up two shots to tie or perhaps win. The first was by Green blocked in the lane with 3.4 seconds left. The last shot was a desperation attempt just inside half court by Jaden Acuna.

Ko led Casteel's balanced scoring with nine points. Schmidt followed with eight and a trio added six points each - Caden Zurek, Ryan Zeidner and Amare King. Golden Thibaudeau paced Gilbert with 10 points. Teammates Nazir Richardson and Green checked in with nine points apiece.

In Tuesday's other Welcome to the Jungle games, Perry blasted Desert Ridge, 77-21; Eastmark handled Corona del Sol, 57-44 and Valley Vista edged Chandler, 63-62. The standings through two days shows Perry and Casteel undefeated at 2-0; Eastmark, Corona del Sol, Chandler and Valley Vista 1-1 and Gilbert and Desert Ridge 0-2.



2022-23 All Central Region

Coach of the Year
Todd Fazio - Highland HS

Player of the Year
Noah Peterson – Highland HS

Offensive Player of the Year
 Jaden Acuna – Gilbert HS

Defensive Player of the Year
Brock Knollmiller – Highland HS

1st Team
Bo Dolinsek - Corona del Sol HS
Jaelen Green – Gilbert HS
Ollie Hinder – Corona del Sol HS
Payton Lapping– Desert Ridge HS
Isaiah Lassiter – Desert Vista HS

2nd Team
Luke Balazentis – Gilbert HS
Christion Fleming – Gilbert HS

Michael Johnson – Highland HS
Andrew Peterson – Queen Creek HS
Nicholas Velez – Desert Vista HS