A senior moment: Deer Valley riding experience and chemistry to the top of 5A

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The Skyhawks have made a run to a No. 1 spot in the 5A power rankings. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The Skyhawks have made a run to a No. 1 spot in the 5A power rankings. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Some of the teammates have been friends since kindergarten. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Some of the teammates have been friends since kindergarten. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The Skyhawks also have an out-of-state fan keeping a close eye on their accomplishments. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The Skyhawks also have an out-of-state fan keeping a close eye on their accomplishments. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
“We’re like a family out here,” said Keyvaughn Williams. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) “We’re like a family out here,” said Keyvaughn Williams. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
GLENDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

It’s always senior day at Deer Valley High School.

“I know where my guys are going to be and they know where I’m going to be,” said senior forward Bryce Davis. “It’s a blessing.”

Davis is one of a handful of seniors who have helped fuel the Skyhawks run to a No. 1 spot in the 5A power rankings.

“It’s so fun,” said the 6-foot-6 Davis. “I’ve been playing with these guys for four years and it’s so exciting now that we’re at our best.”

Davis, along with senior guards Ari Danzy and Deven Breckner, have been playing together on the varsity team since their freshmen seasons. Fellow senior guard Keyvaughn Williams joined in as a sophomore.  

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“We’re like a family out here,” said Williams. “Everybody’s got everybody’s back no matter what the situation is.”

When chemistry meets talent meets experience – that is, of course, a coach’s dream

“There’s [sic] a lot of times I can just sit down because I know these guys will handle it,” said head coach Jed Dunn. “I figure counting summer and spring leagues, I’ve coached these guys for about 400 games. It’s definitely a nice luxury to have.”

Years of experience playing together has produced cohesion on the court and friendships off it. It’s also produced wins – and lots of them. The Skyhawks are approaching the 20-win mark here in the third week of January.

“Yeah, it’s a lot of fun,” said Danzy. “Playing basketball is fun in and of itself but to win and you’re doggin’ teams, it’s great – especially with your brothers.”

The Skyhawks also have an out-of-state fan keeping a close eye on their accomplishments. NBA great LeBron James and Dunn both hail from Arkon, Ohio. Their basketball roots were entwined years ago and the two maintain a relationship today.

“LeBron is just an awesome dude,” said Dunn, who coached against James before James reached high school. “I’ve gotten a chance to hang with him quite a few times. He brings us to some of his games at [Talking Stick Resort] Arena. The kids have seen him at games, up close and personal so that’s pretty cool for them.”

With James keeping an eye on his old friend, Dunn and his team have raised the excitement level around Skyhawks basketball to a fever pitch. The state tournament awaits and the goal of a championship becomes more and more real with each passing victory.

“A state championship is the ultimate goal,” said Danzy. “We like to talk about it but we also don’t take any game lightly.”

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