Final game

Mountain Pointe power forward Izzy Marshall (12) recovers the ball after a Mesa defender attempted to knock it away during the Thunder's loss Saturday.

By Brian Johnson, AFN

After spending most of the game getting yelled at, throwing a hip or elbow every now and then himself and fending off the onslaught that is Jahii Carson, Izzy Marshall embraced anyone he crossed paths with while walking off the Mesa High basketball court.

It's nothing unusual for the extremely popular Mountain Pointe senior athlete.

But this time it marked the end of his Pride athletic career, but he prepared for the transition by wearing Arizona State socks.

"It's been a great," said Marshall, who is going to ASU on a football scholarship. "I can't believe it is over, but I am ready to make the next step. I will never forget these guys to come from where we were at as freshmen and sophomores has been unbelievable."

The Pride's season, and the career of 10 seniors on the roster, ended Saturday night when Carson, a former teammate, took over for Mesa after Mountain Pointe led 50-45 with 4 minutes and 30 seconds left.

The Jackrabbits ended up with a 72-66 win to advance to Thursday's Class 5A Division I semifinals.

Carson, who left Mountain Pointe after his sophomore year and cashed in with a scholarship of his own to ASU, had 14 in the fourth quarter on the way to a 37-point effort, but it wasn't just him making plays as most suggest.

"We knew he was going to score, but they had some other players step up," Mountain Pointe coach Brian Fleming said. "We're disappointed that we lost, of course, but not disappointed in our effort. This team played its heart out."

It's no wonder, not with the quality of the kids on this team, and we're not talking about basketball talent.

If we were then we could talk about the two or three players who will be playing in college in the fall.

But this about Jerome Garrison's disposition, Marshall's effervescent personality, Stevie Knox's quiet leadership and Tylor Wimbish's broad shoulders that everyone seems to lean on.

"The journey for these guys has been amazing," Fleming said. "We were 3-23 three years ago (when this group were freshman) and went 44-14 the last two years. Yes, we led by five in the fourth quarter but it doesn't take away from how far this group has come."

CONTACT WRITER:

jskoda@ahwatukee.com or

480-898-7915

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