If the first game is any indication the so-called demise of the Desert Vista boys basketball program is far happening.

When the Thunder lost Connor MacDougal and John Marshall to Westwind Prep, a Phoenix-based program that plays a national schedule outside of the AIA’s jurisdiction, most expected the team to take step back from last year’s semifinals.

Yet there the Thunder were on Tuesday leading preseason favorite Pinnacle at halftime (32-29), third quarter (49-43) and with 36.9 seconds left (65-64) before losing 67-65.

Not bad for a squad basically forgotten about in the preseason.

Let me preface this by saying I only saw the last two minutes of the game after covering the Desert Vista-Mountain Pointe girls soccer match, but I was expecting to walk in and seeing a 10-point deficit.

The Thunder lost it late but showed some promise defensively and the willingness move the ball around offensively as four players hit double figures, led by Kyle Pitman’s 16 points on four 3-pointers.

What does it means for the rest of the season?

Who knows but it was clear coach Dave Williams has the players believing they can still be competitive with the players they have instead of worrying about who isn’t there.

Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or JSkoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.

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