Grand Canyon Phantoms recognized by Arizona Interscholastic Association

Grand Canyon Phantom Ian Jones was recognized by the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) for his performance during the 2015-2016 basketball season. Loretta Yerian/WGCN

Grand Canyon Phantom Ian Jones was recognized by the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) for his performance during the 2015-2016 basketball season. Loretta Yerian/WGCN

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. - The Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) recently released the results for the boys and girls division and section recognition for the 2015-2016 basketball season and several Grand Canyon players made the list.

Each head coach had the opportunity to vote on all varsity student athletes and coaches within their section and ultimately within their division.

Ian Jones, a senior at Grand Canyon, was awarded All-Section Second Team and received Honorable Mention for Division V.

Grand Canyon head basketball coach Jeff King said this season was a rebuilding season for the boys team and said Jones was a top player who faced unique challenges throughout the season.

"His first two years he played with playoff contender teams and his junior and senior year he (has been) the man on the team," King said. "He was used to winning ... so (the last two years) he has worked really hard."

King said even with a small team this year, Jones held up his end of the game and helped the team tremendously.

"He absolutely was the team's team," King said. "We were a small team although he had some good surrounding players."

Jones played small forward, number three, four and five position and point guard.

For the Lady Phantoms senior Deya Ramos was awarded All-Section Second Team.

King, who has coached Dela Torra since she was a freshman said Ramos has improved both on and off the court since her freshman year.

"Deya has always been my point guard ever since her freshman year," King said. "From freshman to senior she has got way, way better. Scoring and attitude wise."

King said Dela Torre was a locker room captain this season.

"She is a hard worker, she would tell players what they needed to do and where to go when they messed up," he said. "She technically was my general on the court."

Junior Mariela Montano was also awarded All-Section Second Team.

King said Montano always had a great attitude that complimented her skills on and off the court.

"She is one of my come off the bench point guard and 'Miss Hustle,'" King said. "She hustles hard, she plays defense hard, she helps with scoring - basically tried to help everybody do everything, rebounding, steals and everything."

Senior Yesenia Rodriguez received an All-Section Honorable Mention.

Rodriguez played number five position and was King's all-around player.

"She did everything - rebound, assists, scores, she was my main scorer and she did well on blocks too," King said. "She was basically the player but she also made her surrounding players better too because she would tell them what to do, where to go, what plays to run and if somebody was slacking a little she wouldn't get mad, she would encourage them."

King said both Rodriguez and Ramos Dela Torre were leaders in the locker room. One disappointment for the team occurred after Rodriguez suffered a knee injury in an away game against Fredonia two weeks before the end of the season.

"Injury set her back, she was doing good all season until the end," King said. "That's where she messed up her knees and was out for the last two weeks of the season. Those were crucial games too but I couldn't play her."


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