1 Christian Sanchez G 5' 9" 145 12  
    2 Brody Hagen G 6' 4" 165 12  
    3 Jake Emanuel F 6' 3" 185 12  
    5 Jake Toolson G/F 6' 5" 205 12  
    10 Chad Ventre F 6' 2" 175 12  
    12 Jacob Willardson G 5' 8" 130 11  
    13 Chip White G/F 6' 2" 175 12  
    20 Cole McEuen F 6' 4" 190 12  
    22 Austin Witherill G 6' 2" 165 12  
    23 Jake Pandrok G 6' 0" 150 10  
    24 Ilisia Washington G/F 6' 2" 180 10  
    30 Spencer Walker F 6' 3" 190 10  
    31 Cameron Tippetts G 5' 9" 140 10  
    32 Nick Lott F 6' 3" 170 10  
    33 Jake Brown F 6' 5" 190 12  
    COACHING STAFF          
    Head Coach

Derrick Donaldson

    Assistant Coach

Adam McCoy

    Assistant Coach

Marc McCoy

    JV Coach

Nick Witherill

    Freshmen Coach

Brad Little

    Director of Basketball Operations  
Martie Kraus
Quince Shontell
Curtis Lunt
    Video Coordinator  
Oskar Valezquez De Leon
 4301 E Guadalupe Rd  ●  Gilbert, AZ 85234

Dominic Salce

    Athletic Director

Rod Huston

    Athletic Secretary

Vicki Haro




Jake Toolson Jake Brown Ilisia Washington
Cole McEuen Jacob Willardson Jake Pandrok
Cameron Tippetts Spencer Walker Jake Emanuel
Brody Hagen Nick Lott Christian Sanchez
Chip White Austin Witherill Chad Ventre






2013-2014 FRESHMEN





2013-2014 SCHEDULE



  11/25 Monday 6:30PM Agua Fria (W) 72-46 1-0
  11/26 Tuesday 7:45PM Red Mountain (L) 52-57 1-1
  11/27 Wednesday 4:45PM Mountain Ridge (W) 78-45 2-1
  11/30 Saturday 4:00PM Skyline (W) 90-60 3-1
  12/03 Tuesday 7:00PM Away Gilbert Christian (W) 72-61 4-1
  12/06 Friday 7:00PM Away Gilbert (L) 66-72 4-2
  12/10 Tuesday 7:00PM Away Dobson (W) 61-57 5-2
  12/12 Thursday 7:00PM Away Desert Vista (W) 59-53 6-2
  12/13 Friday 7:00PM Home Mesa (W) 67-59 7-2
  12/17 Tuesday 7:00PM Home Casa Grande (W) 82-45 8-2
  12/20 Friday 7:00PM Away Mountain Pointe (W) 57-50 9-2
  12/27 Friday 8:30PM Orem, UT (W) 79-70 10-2
  12/28 Saturday 4:00PM Pinnacle (W) 81-70 11-2
  12/30 Monday 10:00AM Chaparral (L) 68-73 11-3
  12/31 Tuesday 11:30AM Desert Mountain (W) 65-64 12-3
  01/07 Tuesday 7:00PM Home Mesquite (W) 86-48 13-3
  01/10 Friday 7:00PM Away Desert Ridge (W) 90-85 14-3
  01/14 Tuesday 7:00PM Home Corona del Sol (L) 61-74 14-4
  01/16 Thursday 7:00PM Away Red Mountain (L) 40-47 14-5
  01/20 Monday 7:00PM Home Hamilton (L) 44-56 14-6
  01/22 Wednesday 7:00PM Home Gilbert (W) 67-60 15-6
  01/24 Friday 7:00PM Away Skyline (W) 81-60 16-6
  01/28 Tuesday 7:00PM Home Chandler (W) 66-57 17-6
  01/31 Friday 7:00PM Away Perry (W) 78-71 18-6
  02/03 Monday 7:00PM Home Camelback (W) 88-33 19-6
  02/05 Wednesday 7:00PM Home Basha (W) 55-50 20-6
  02/12 Wednesday 5:15PM Sectional Carl Hayden (W) 62-55 21-6
  02/14 Friday 7:00PM Sectional Corona del Sol (L) 44-76 21-7
  02/22 Saturday 7:00PM Home Mountain View (L) 68-86 21-8

.2013-2014 GAME RECAPS

    SECTIONALS SEMIS - 02/14/14 - Corona del Sol  
     By Richard Obert azcentral sports

Tempe Corona del Sol gave coach Sam Duane Jr., his 300th career victory in the style of play that he preaches: Fast, physical, relentless and tenacious on the boards.

With 6-foot-6 junior wing Dane Kuiper putting the clamps on high-scoring guard Jake Toolson and finishing at the other end, top-ranked Corona del Sol beat Gilbert Highland 76-44 Friday night in a Division I super-sectional semifinals at Mesa Desert Ridge.

Corona del Sol (28-1) faces Gilbert Perry, which won another thriller, a one-point game over Phoenix Central, at 7 tonight for the championship at Desert Ridge.

“Our defense allowed us to get out and run,” said Duane, has won nearly 100 of his games just in the past three seasons. “We defended really well tonight.”

Kuiper, who moved last spring from Alaska, was once again given the assignment on Toolson, a 6-5 senior guard who signed with BYU and came in averaging 24 points a game.

Toolson was limited to one field goal in the first quarter when Highland made just three of 13 shots and fell into a 20-9 hole.

Toolson struggled with his outside jumper, and, when he drove, he was met by either Connor MacDougall or Cassius Peat.

Toolson finished with 20 points, giving him more than 2,000 in his career. But they were difficult points, and Corona del Sol was quick to answer with easy baskets downcourt.

“We were very active tonight and when we got up, we had that killer instinct, and you’ve got to have that in the tournament,” Duane said. “Dane was outstanding. He did a great job on Jake. We got Jake out shooting 3s, which we much rather have. Dane was good tonight. He was really good.”

Kuiper had 16 points.

“I tried to use my body more and less hands,” Kuiper said. “We came ready to play this game. We used a lot of energy to our advantage.”

Point guard Casey Benson had eight of his 13 points in the final four minutes of the first quarter.

When Corona del Sol missed a shot, somebody was there to clean it up for two.

It got into a running clock in the final quarter with Corona del Sol ahead by 30.

“We kept defending,” Duane said. “We played really well.”

    ..GAME 17 - January 10, 2014 - DESERT RIDGE  
     By Richard Obert azcentral sports

Jake Toolson’s outside shot wasn’t falling Friday night. He got into foul trouble that caused him to miss the final 5:40 of the first half.

Still, the 6-foot-5, 205-pound senior guard found a way to rally Gilbert Highland past host Mesa Desert Ridge 90-85 in double overtime in a Division I, Section II boys basketball game.

Toolson scored 29 points, and worked out of traps and double teams with precision passes, and fought for big rebounds down the stretch in the second extra, four-minute period that helped Highland (14-4, 5-0) hold off Desert Ridge (11-5, 2-1) and its big three of Hunter Thomas, Teddy Allen and Cameron Chatwin.

With Thomas slashing down the middle, and Allen and Chatwin knocking down 3-pointers, Desert Ridge had a 64-62 lead with less than two minutes left in regulation.

Toolson, who has signed with Brigham Young, found Chip White inside for an easy basket.

White then forced Thomas into a five-second violation.

Toolson tried to muscle his way through a crowd twice with shots. He missed. There was no call, and the game went into overtime.

Toolson sank two foul shots, scored on a dunk and found White again for a layup and Highland looked in command with a 72-67 lead in the first OT.

But Allen scored on a drive, made a 3, and hit 1 of 2 foul shots for a 76-74 lead with 57 seconds left.

Cole McEuen’s basket tied it with 21 seconds left, and Allen missed an off-balanced 3-point attempt as time ran out, sending the game into a second extra period.

This time, Austin Witherill opened with a 3, Toolson made two free throws and Highland didn’t trail again in the final two minutes. Toolson made two more foul shots and Witherill sank four foul shots in the final 19 seconds to seal it.

“Whenever we come here, it’s a game,” Highland coach Derrick Donaldson said. “They hit a lot of 3s. As long as we could get it inside, we felt we could win.

“Jake is Jake in crunch time. He’s a guy we’re going to get the ball to, and everyone knows that.”

Toolson feeds off of the attention he gets with defenders trying to find ways to stop the 30-points-a-game scorer.

“Now that we’ve started the second half of the season, teams have seen what I’ve done, and they’re sending guys at me,” Toolson said. “I can still pass and facilitate. It still puts points on the board.”

    ..GAME 13 - December 28, 2013 - PINNACLE  
     By Richard Obert azcentral sports

A pin could have been heard dropping inside Mesa Mountain View’s gym on Saturday after Gilbert Highland senior guard Jake Toolson fell to the floor, trying to block a shot, screaming holding his left leg.

Toolson had scored 33 points in 31 minutes, when he was helped into the locker room with 3:17 left.

Second-ranked Phoenix Pinnacle, trailing 69-51 at the time, got as close as six points, before falling 81-70 in the VisitMesa.com Basketball Challenge before a big crowd that included Toolson’s uncle, former Suns player and current Boston Celtics executive Danny Ainge.

Toolson’s mom emerged from the locker room and came to the Highland bench late in the game to inform coach Derrick Donaldson that her son’s injury didn’t appear serious. Toolson was being medically evaluated after the game.

It is not known how serious or how much time the BYU-signee could miss with a possible knee or ankle injury.

“I think it was the first time something like that happened to him, falling back, and he was more scared than anything,” Donaldson said.

Toolson, a 6-foot-5, 205-pound guard who is having a Player of the Year season averaging 30 points a game, scored the game’s first six points and eight of Highland’s first 10 points, showing off his strength and shooting range, moving inside and outside for baskets.

He had 21 points on 8 of 15 shooting, 3 of 6 3-pointers, in the first half, when Highland built a 39-24 lead.

Highland (11-2) was able to finish the game without its star, but it got a little tight with Pinnacle pressuring and trapping the ball.

Pinnacle has lost four of its past six games since last week’s Tarkanian Classic in Las Vegas.

Dorian Pickens, who signed with Stanford, led Pinnacle with 28 points on eight of 20 shooting. He was 0 for 7 on 3-point attempts.

Trey Ingram chipped in 15 points and made 1 of 4 3-pointers.

Pinnacle made just five of 21 3-pointers.

Toolson had 13 rebounds and three assists to go with his 33 points.
      GAME 12 - December 27, 2013 - OREM, UTAH  
     Another big game from Jake Toolson. A strong finish by tiny guard Christian Sanchez and an overtime-producing three by Austin Witherill on Friday night highlighted Highland's come-from-behind 79-70 victory in overtime over Orem, Utah to close out the second day of play at thge Visitmesa.com Basketball Challenge at Mesa's Mountain View High School.

Toolson, Highland's 6-foot-5 play-any-spot-on-the-floor senior, poured in a season-high tying 39 points and grabbed 15 rebounds. His offense helped Highland overcome a 41-29 halftime deficit as he made shots from well-beyond the 3-point line and posted up enough to balance his production and keep Orem on its toes. Witherill finished with 15 points and Sanchez added nine, all late in the second half.

Highland (10-2) took 4 1/2 minutes to tie the game at 44 after intermission. They soon fell back by as many as six, but battled back again and took the lead a couple times in the final minutes thanks to a burst of quickness and energy from Sanchez. Sanchez scored a couple of layups, jetting by what looked to be tired defenders as the Hawks went in front, 62-61 with 2:55 to play.

A three-point play by Orem's Dalton Nixon put the Tigers back up 64-62. Orem added a couple free throws and led 66-63 with 15 seconds left. Sanchez saved a game-tying possession with a steal after Orem's Quinn Peters swiped the ball from Highland. Witherill ended up with the ball at the top of they key and swished it for 3 to with 6.4 seconds to force overtim.

The overtime was all Highland. Cole McEuen tallied on a rebound of a Toolson miss for a 68-66 lead and Witherill bumped it to 70-66 with two free throws. Jake Emanuel and McEuen scored to push the lead to five and Toolson, who signed with BYU earlier, made five free throws in the final 30 seconds to close it out.

"Ugly first half, better second half," Highland coach Derrick Donaldson said. "We've been in some close games. We''re used to it. Sometimes they're not pretty, but I'll take it."

Highland likely benefited from the extra session and the tough, physical game. Highland used eight players extensively while Orem barely played six other than the final seconds of overtime when reserves entered to commit fouls.

Cooper Holt scored 27 points to lead Orem (3-4). Nixon added 22 points and Peters chipped in 10.
    GAME 8 - December 12, 2013 - DESERT VISTA  
Highland played Desert Vista, literally. The game started with DV getting the tip off and taking the ball straight to the basket, twice. DV had four points before Highland realized the game had started! DV looked like they would be tough, they had one player the size of a small house, but the Hawks realized they were mostly show. By the end of the first quarter Highland figured them out and the score was 17-16.

By the end of half time Highland was introducing them to discipline and defense, which was more effective than being tall. Austin Witherill had four 3’s and Jake Toolson had 13 points to end the half 36-23. Things were looking good!

Desert Vista came out making a good effort after the half time chat with their coach, bringing the score to 49 – 38 at the end of the 3rd quarter. But the hype was short lived and Highland finished Desert Vista off 59 – 53. Jake Toolson finished with 29 points, Austin Witherall with 16 and Christian Sanchez with 6 assists! Great job Hawks!
    ..GAME 7 - December 10, 2013 - DOBSON  
A real nail biter was witnessed last night as Highland played Dobson. During the first quarter Dobson was dropping 3’s and long 2’s like there was no one else on the court. It was looking like it might be a long night. The first quarter ended 12 – 14 Dobson.

At half time we were still trailing but keeping it close 26 – 30. But the Hawks got down to business and started closing the gap. In the third quarter Jake Toolson received a T for a well executed alley – oop (but it may have been worth it.)

The game was fast paced and very exciting, but as the Hawks started pulling ahead they slowed the game down making Dobson a little tense. While the fans held their breath Hawks ended the game with a 61 – 57 Victory! Go Hawks!
    ..GAME 6 - December 06, 2013 - GILBERT  
The Hawks lost an intense game to rival Gilbert High on Friday night at Gilbert. The final score was 72-66. The atmosphere was charged with both schools' student body representing in full force.

In the first half both teams traded  baskets back and forth with Gilbert's mainly coming from inside the arc and Highland's from long distance. The Hawks shot it well all night connecting on 11 threes.  At the half the score was all knotted up at 37.

The Hawks came out strong in the third quarter and scored 19 points in the quarter and were up by five at the end of the third.  Then with a ten point lead in the early stages of the final stanza the Hawks let the Tigers back in it when the Tigers went on an
18-0 run, which was fueled by the Tiger's zone press and scrambling defense.

Highland was outscored 21-10 in the final quarter and dropped to 4-2 on the season








..GAME 5 - December 03, 2013 - GILBERT CHRISTIAN


Wow! What a great game between the Highland Hawks and Gilbert Christian Knights. The opening ceremonies were very impressive and gave the feel of being at a small scale Madison Square Garden’s. If that wasn’t intimidating GC’s starting lineup consisted of all players towering over 6 feet the tallest being 6’8” and 6’7”. But our mighty Hawks didn’t flinch; it seemed to only fuel their desire for victory.

The first part of the game it really looked like it would be close with the Hawks and the Knights matching basket for basket, and it seemed like GC’s 6’7” Sam Jones #14 was not going to be missing a 3 pointer all night. But with Highland’s full court press and fast breaks they started pulling ahead. Highland played like a well oiled machine, rebounding, passing, and great assists - it was incredible to watch. By half time Highland had pulled ahead 43 to 30, the two high scorers being Jake Emanuel with 9 and Jake Toolson with 10. There were some awesome performances by Christian, Chip, and Cole also.

The second half the Hawks came out seeming to have not quite as much energy as they did in the first half. But when Jake was benched because of foul trouble (thanks to some interesting calls by the refs), the team seemed to step up and they were able to hold the Knights always maintaining a lead of 8 – 11 points. Towards the end in a desperate attempt on GC’s part to get possession of the ball, Jake Toolson became the foul target. The last few minutes of the game became a free throw contest with Jake as the only contestant; luckily Jake’s free throws were on target that night with him making 16 out of 18 opportunities. Highland played well as a team and looked fierce and strong. They beat the Knights 72-61! Go Hawks!


.2013-2014 STATISTICS





Final Regular Season Stats
Through Game 26













Head Coach - Derrick Donaldson
Derrick Donaldson was born and raised in Southern California. His love of basketball began at a young age while watching his own father coach basketball at the University of Laverne. Derrick found a passion for coaching while completing his undergraduate work at California State University, Fullerton. While attending Cal State Fullerton, he began coaching Freshman Boy’s Basketball for one of the local high schools. Since his first year of coaching, Derrick has earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Kinesiology from California State University, Fullerton, a Master of Education from National University and second Masters in Special Education from University of Phoenix. He has coached for sixteen years in various positions from Freshmen Head Coach to Varsity Assistant Coach.

Coach Donaldson is excited about the upcoming season and has high hopes for his players and the things that they want to accomplish this year.

When Coach Donaldson is not coaching, he loves spending time with his wonderful wife Sophia and their dog Bear and he is thankful for their support through the season.

Assistant Coach - Adam McCoy
Adam McCoy was born and raised in Southern California where he played high school and college basketball. Coach McCoy completed his Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology at Cal Poly Pomona University. While attending Cal Poly, he began coaching Freshman Boy’s Basketball at his alma mater in 2000. While coaching, he went on to complete his teachers credential and Masters work in Special Education at National University. Coach McCoy is currently working toward his Administrative Credential at the University of Phoenix. Coach McCoy has been a basketball coach at the high school level for 13 years and is excited about the ongoing opportunity to continue the winning tradition within the Highland Boys Basketball program.

Coach McCoy resides in Queen Creek and has been married to his beautiful wife Margaret for 7 years. They have a 5 year old son, Noah; who is considered the team’s ball boy. Nicco, who is 3, is following in his brother’s footsteps and in the gym constantly as the newest addition to the Highland family. Coach McCoy thanks his family for their endless support and love.

Fun Fact: Coach McCoy and Coach Donaldson were bitter rivals, until 2004, when they decided to unite and become a coaching force in the Southern California basketball scene.

Assistant Coach - Marc McCoy
Marc McCoy was born and raised in Southern California where he played high school and college basketball at the University of La Verne. Marc was selected as the Team Captain three out of his four years. He was named an All-Conference player 3 out of his 4 years at University of La Verne. He currently still ranks among the schools leaders in points and 3 point shooting percentage. Coach McCoy obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and began coaching high school basketball at a young age.

Coach McCoy is currently a well respected Police Detective in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Coach McCoy lives in Gilbert with his wife Jaclyn and their two beautiful daughters, Mackenzie (9) and Mackayla (4). Coach McCoy is thankful to his wife and daughters for their support and loyalty. He relishes the opportunity to work with some amazing young student/athletes here at Highland High School and to help develop them into upstanding citizens as well as a GREAT team.

JV Coach - Nick Witherill
Nick Witherill was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. He attended Scottsdale Saguaro high school for three years and finished his last high school year here at Highland. He then went on to play basketball at Washington State University under 8-time national coach of the year Tony Bennett. He then transferred home to Grand Canyon University here in Phoenix to finish his basketball career while receiving a Bachelor's degree in Finance and Economics. Nick is now working for Cascade Financial Services as the Secondary Marketing Coordinator. This will be his second year as the Highland JV coach after going 11-7 in his first year.

As an Arizona native, Nick is excited to teach the game to the Junior Varsity team and help them become better basketball players and reach their potential. In the future, Nick plans to continue coaching at the highest level possible.

Freshmen Coach - Brad Little
Coach Little is in his second year at Highland High as the Freshman coach, after spending the previous five years coaching both boys and girls basketball at Highland Junior High. Prior to that, he spent five years at Desert Ridge High School, three as the Head Varsity Boys Coach, and two as the Varsity Assistant. Coach Little also spent four years here at Highland High School (1998-2001) as both a boys Varsity Assistant and Head JV Coach. During which time the Highland boys played in their first state championship game. Brad Little began his coaching career at Chandler High School spending two years as a boys Varsity Assistant and was part of a team that went to the quarter finals of the state tournament.

Brad Graduated from ASU in 1996 with a degree in Physical Education. He is currently teaching Physical Education at Highland Junior High School. Brad played high school and college basketball here in Arizona. Brad was a three year varsity starter at Dobson High School, and he played for nationally ranked Mesa Community College (1985-1987). He married his high school sweetheart Kristen in 1990. Brad and Kristen have 2 children, Baylee a Hawk alumni and Freshman at San Diego State where she plays volleyball and Brayden (Sophomore) who is a member of the Highland Junior Varsity boys basketball team.