The Paradise Valley High School boys varsity basketball team won on the road against Chaparral High School 77-63 Thursday, Jan. 18, improving its overall record to 16–4 on the season.
Paradise Valley built a 10-point lead at halftime, and that lead ballooned to 19 after three quarters. Chaparral (9–13) did use swarming team defense to cut that lead to as little as eight in the fourth quarter, but ultimately fell short.
Paradise Valley’s senior point guard Tashon Brown led the Trojans to victory by scoring 21 points and getting his teammates involved by dishing out eight assists.
Brown, who’s played on varsity all four years, is garnering attention from schools not only for his play on the court, but also for his success in the classroom.
“I’ve had a few colleges, a lot of Ivy Leagues, look at me: Yale, Cornell,” Brown said after the game.
In addition to those Division I schools, a number of Division II and Division III programs “have shown a lot of interest in him,” according to Paradise Valley’s varsity head coach Cory Bardet. Coach Bardet noted that Brown has “great grades” and scored well on the SAT.
“Shon’s just a great kid,” Coach Bardet said after the game. “He’s not a big ‘rah-rah’ vocal guy, but he leads by example.”
Brown excelled when his team gets out on the fast break. He keeps his eyes up to watch plays develop, and he frequently hits teammates in stride with an array of smart passes that often lead to easy scores.
“He’s just very unselfish,” Coach Bardet said of his floor general. “He’s a kid that could come out and shoot 20 shots every night if he felt like it and nobody would bat an eye, but he just wants to make the right play.”
Chaparral head coach Dan Peterson said he knew his team would have to focus on defending Brown, who played well in two previous matchups against the Firebirds this season.
“He’s a great player,” Coach Peterson said after the game. “Especially what he’s able to do with his team, get them all going and be their leader on the floor.”
Coach Peterson explained prior to the game that he wanted his guys to pressure Brown with “tough, hard-nosed defense” and get the ball out of his hands. Chaparral had success with that strategy late in the game, but couldn’t erase the immense deficit it faced entering the final quarter.
Paradise Valley seniors Jordan Morris and Logan Gallaga, as well as junior guard Nathan Perry, scored efficiently in the win. They cashed in on their shots often after receiving passes from Brown.
As to where Brown will decide to play at the next level, he’s leaving his options open.
“I haven’t really narrowed it down yet to where I want to go,” he said.
Brown added that he’s waiting to see what other college offers he gets moving forward, and will probably make his final decision after the season ends.
Editor’s Note: Ben Leibowitz is a student at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.