Photos By Jon Johnson and Steve Carter/Gila Herald: Pima boys basketball head coach Cliff Thompson and been named the 2A East Region Coach of the Year and center Seth Russell has been named the 2A East Region Player of the Year.
By Jon Johnson
PIMA – The Pima Roughriders boys basketball team has received post-season award recognitions from the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA), and head coach Cliff Thompson and center Seth Russell have been named the 2A East Region Coach and Player of the Year, respectively.
2A East Region Coach of the Year
Pima boys basketball head coach Cliff Thompson has been named the 2A East Region Coach of the Year for the second year in a row.
Thompson led the Roughriders to an unbeaten conference regular-season (21-3 overall) and is the No. 2 ranked team in the state playoffs.
2A East Player of the Year
Pima senior center Seth Russell has been named the AIA 2A East Region Player of the Year.
Russell dominated the paint all year long, culminating with a 22-point, 22-rebound performance against Morenci in the final regular-season game.
2A East Region Defensive Player of the Year
The 2A East Region Defensive Player of the Year was awarded to Pima twins Pierce and Grant Ashby.
Pierce was a force in the paint, altering and blocking shots all year long. He had multiple games with multiple blocks, including the last regular-season game against Morenci where he registered four blocks.
Grant harassed wing and guard players all year long and had numerous steals that led to fast-break opportunities and breakaway dunks to the crowds’ pleasure.
2A East Region Offensive Player of the Year
Aiden Finch – Benson
2A East All-Region 1st Team:
Garrett Curtis – Pima, Tristen Sanchez – Morenci, Joendy Ruiz – Willcox, Angel Rigney – Benson, David Zamudio – Bisbee, Jose Mendez – Bisbee.
2A East All-Region 2nd Team:
Coy Miller – Pima, Derek Saenz – Morenci, Leland Thompson – Pima, Lane Whetten – Willocox, Sebastian Lopez – Bisbee, Dalton Crockett – Benson.
Honorable Mention: (Local ties)
Nathan Skiba – Pima, Wyatt Wiltbank – Pima, Daylen Johnson – Morenci, Derick Lytle, Morenci.