In the three seasons leading up to Trevor Neider taking over the Mountain Pointe girls basketball team, the Pride won a total of 17 games, including three the year before in 2008-09.
Neider led the Pride to 25 wins in his first year – again after winning three the year before – and has won at least 20 games in all four seasons.
Tony Ramseyer was the coach the two years prior. When he took over the program was about as unstable as could be.
"When I took over I was the fourth coach in six years," he said. "I was just trying to right the show because there was no continuity. My first year we had 10 seniors and it was hard to get them to care about winning because they had been through so much."
After year two he decided the time commitment was too much when you added in being the boys golf coach and the summer schedule for girls basketball.
So Neider, who was the junior varsity coach, took over.
I knew Trevor was going to be a huge asset when I interviewed," Ramseyer said. "He is a tremendous coach and now he is getting players and he is developing them. Mountain Pointe is being recognized as place where you can win in girls basketball again."
The Pride are at 25-5 this year heading into Friday’s Division I second-round game at home versus No. 10 Tolleson, which beat Cienega 53-35 in the opening round.
Tolleson is 20-10 and have been very good in state tournament in recent years. The program won four state titles in five years with the last coming in 2011 in Class 5A Division II. The Wolverines first year in Division I last year earned them a fourth seed and made it to the Elite Eight.
The Pride haven’t been great in the postseason under Neider but they have a different feel this year.
In previous years the team’s win total was bloated by wins over less than stellar programs. The fact that Mountain Pointe beat Highland early in the season and twice defeated rival Desert Vista to end a double-digit losing streak to the Thunder means everything.
There is a toughness there that has really come to the surface as Caitlyn Hetrick and Ashley Clubb impose their will and need to win on the team.
It’s an attribute that just might be enough to get through a tough postseason bracket that would mostly likely brings No. 2 Highland and No. 3 Pinnacle as possible matchups should the seeds hold up through the semifinals.
Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or JSkoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.