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ALA-Gilbert North basketball shaking up Open Division

The Eagles are ready to take their fledgling program to new heights.

GILBERT, Ariz. — The high school basketball playoffs start in less than two weeks, and, like football, there will be an Open Division bracket for the top teams out of 4A, 5A, and 6A to compete in.

One of the 4A teams already shaking up the rankings is ALA-Gilbert North, with the Eagles powered by a father-son duo.

ALAGN’s Dylan Novak has been turning heads this season. The sophomore has already scored 1,000 career points for the Eagles, one of the top teams in the state's Open Division rankings.

“I mean, the words getting out there that we’re pretty good,” Dylan said. “It gives us a lot of confidence, and we all think we can beat anybody. It's pretty cool to see.”

Dylan and his teammates are coached by his dad, Dave Novak. The Eagles are behind the reigning 6A state champions, Perry, in the latest AIA Open rankings. The Eagles are 23-1 this season, with their lone loss coming against Tucson-Sahuaro, another competitive 4A program.

“Being in 3A last year, nobody paid attention. Nobody wanted to give us a shot to play in some bigger tournaments this summer -- which is where we want to be,” Dave said. “We want to be in the spotlight. We want to be on the stage. That's why I love the Open Division.”

We'll see how the Open bracket shakes out in early February, but this small-school team is hungry to compete with the likes of Perry, Liberty, and Basha in the postseason. The Eagles are eager to take this fledgling program to new heights this year.

“It's something we've always dreamed of. I know me and my dad have always talked about winning and playing these big teams and that we could do it,” Dylan said. “I just want to win a championship. That's really my main goal.”

Follow the conversation with Lina Washington on Twitter: @LWashingtonTV

If you have a sports story idea, e-mail Lina at LWashington@12News.com.


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