Steve Carter File Photo/Special to the Gila Herald: Bradley Curtis gets the block on Seth Russell. Curtis was named the 3A Boys Basketball Conference co-Defensive Player of the Year.
By Jon Johnson
THATCHER – In a year where post-season accolades in the 3A Conference are few and far between, the Arizona Interscholastic Association and its group of coaches could not overlook Thatcher’s Bradley Curtis, who was named co-Conference Defensive Player of the Year with Jake Harrison of state champion Valley Christian.
Curtis was not only a defensive threat but was his team’s number-one offensive option and excelled at the same inside/outside play that made his defense so effective.
According to stats by Max Preps, Curtis led the team in points (628) and rebounds (351) and averaged a double/double per game with 21.7 points and 12.1 rebounds on 62 percent shooting from the field. He also averaged 1.2 steals and nearly 1 block per game.
Thatcher head coach Kyle Hull expressed his thoughts on the award and said he is looking forward to seeing Curtis excel at the next level after graduation.
“(I’m) super proud of him and all the work he put in,” Hull told the Gila Herald. “His presence on the floor gave a lot of teams trouble. (I) can’t wait to see where he plays next!”
The Eagles finished atop the 3A South with an unbeaten 9-0 region record and finished 18-9, falling in the state playoffs to eventual state champion Valley Christian, 36-79.
The rest of the 3A Boys Conference awards include Conference Player of the Year – Luke Shaw, Valley Christian; Coach of the Year – Greg Haagsma, Valley Christian; and Offensive Player of the Year, Albrandon Byjoe, Monument Valley.
3A Conference Boys Local Honorable Mentions: Brandon Napier, Thatcher
3A Conference Girls Local Honorable Mentions: Brianna Camarena, Safford; Hannah Schade, Safford; Jaiden Davis, Thatcher, Ashlyn Thompson, Thatcher.