Four Prospectors Earn All-Black Canyon Region Honors
By Daniel Dullum
Based on his own self-evaluation, Evan Quiroz of Apache Junction wasn’t sure if he was player of the year material.
Voters in the 4A Black Canyon Region felt otherwise.
The senior guard was named as both region player of the year and repeated as offensive player of the year in a vote of the Black Canyon coaches.
“It’s humbling,” Quiroz, who was the 2017 Black Canyon Region offensive player of the year, said. “I wasn’t sure if I was going to get it this year because I didn’t score as much as I did last year. But (the voters) obviously saw that my overall game improved.
“I think that defensively, I got a lot better this year, and I was much more consistent scoring-wise this year. It was real exciting when I heard the news. I’m very humbled and have to keep working.”
Quiroz was also named as first-team guard. Teammate Brigham Milkey was named to the region’s second team, while Trevor Bayer and Jimari Grayson received honorable mention.
“We met as coaches and I didn’t know what to expect,” Prospectors Coach Scott Stansberry said. “The coaches were with Evan … player of the year, offensive player. It was like, ‘okay.’ I didn’t have to fight for him and it’s great to see that the coaches recognized his ability.”
Quiroz drained 76 3-pointers (35 percent) in his senior season and wound up with 195 for his career, along with 1,308 career points. In the 2017-18 season, he scored 489 points (18.1 per game), sank 89 of 115 free throws (77 percent), and averaged 3.7 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.6 steals per game.
As for basketball at the collegiate level, Quiroz is still exploring his options.
“I’m still going to play college basketball, it just depends on what college I go to,” Quiroz said. “I’ve been talking with a couple of colleges in California, some in Nebraska, just seeing which one feels right.”
Bayer, a senior, was second in 4A with 69 of 164 (42 percent) from behind the arc. He scored 269 points (10.0), shooting 41 percent from the field overall.
“I barely played varsity as a junior, pretty much just in practice,” Bayer said. “To go all the way from that to honorable mention in about a year, that’s huge for me.
“I was a little bit surprised when I found out, but I’m happy with it.”
“Trevor had that hot streak after a slow start,” Stansberry said.
Milkey, a junior who was an honorable mention selection as a sophomore, scored 255 points (9.4 per game), grabbed 171 rebounds (6.3), along with 75 assists and 26 steals.
“It’s easy when you’ve got the best shooters in the state to throw the ball to and that opens everything up for you,” Milkey said. “You’ve got a freshman who can drive and has a game similar to yours, so it’s easy when you’ve got guys around you who can put the ball in the hole.”
Stansberry said, “Brigham is a very quiet double-double kind of guy. You look at his stats and it would be something like 16 and nine, 14 and 10, and you’d wonder, ‘how did that happen?’ He’s so sneaky, you don’t even notice it.”
Grayson, a freshman, averaged 6.0 points, 2.7 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.0 steals per game.
“It means a lot, but I wouldn’t be there without my teammates,” Grayson said.
“The coaches recognized Jimari and I’m excited about that,” Stansberry said. “For a freshman to get recognized is great. But the spotlight is on him now – they threw his name out there, so now everyone knows who he is.”
Overall, Stansberry said having four all-region selections makes the program “look good.”
“It goes to show how, after not winning the region, it really is a tough basketball region,” he said. “We were just four spots out of the playoffs. We could have easily had four teams in there. So for Evan to get voted for those honors, I think it’s awesome.”
Photo above: Apache Junction’s boys basketball all-Black Canyon Region selections. From left: Brigham Milkey, Trevor Bayer, Evan Quiroz and Jimari Grayson. Quiroz was named as the region’s player of the year and top offensive player. (Photo by Daniel Dullum)