In a back and forth game, the Desert Vista Thunder boys varsity basketball team defeated the Gilbert Tigers, 71-65, Friday night in a 6A Central conference game behind guard Tyrek Chambers and his 32 points.
The win for Desert Vista brings them to 6-1 in conference play, putting them atop the 6A Central section and 20-4 overall. The Gilbert loss drops the Tigers to 4-3 in conference play and 12-10 overall, which has them currently sitting in third place in the Central section.
Gilbert, a guard oriented team looked to slow the game down and move the ball to find open shooters, but it was Desert Vista’s size and speed that ultimately won the game for the Thunder.
“We were trying to run and get the ball in the paint, that was our goal,” said Desert Vista head coach Gino Crump after the game. “You know, we had the height advantage and that’s what won it for us in the first game and we really stressed that.”
Desert Vista was able to beat Gilbert on Jan. 11, 55-54, in another very closely contested game.
Desert Vista led 11-10 after the first quarter but trailed heading into the half, 29-27, after Gilbert sophomore center Griffin Lamb got hot and scored 8 points to help put the Tigers back on top.
Coming out of the half, Tyrek Chambers really got going. The junior guard, who is averaging 16.4 points a game this season according to Maxpreps, put up 11 of his 32 points in the third quarter including a 3-point buzzer beater that really shifted the momentum and put the Thunder up four points heading into the fourth.
“The other kid Chambers is a stud. We had no answer for him, absolutely not,” said Gilbert head coach Jay Caserio after the game. “He dominated us all night long.”
Chambers shifted the attention to his team when asked about his big night.
“My teammates, coach and system we run, it’s been great. It puts me in a situation to do, what I got to do,” said Chambers.
Gilbert senior guard Trajon Hawkins had a great third quarter himself scoring 11 of his 25 points to keep the game close.
However, Desert Vista led, 50-46, heading into the fourth quarter and seemed to really intensify their defense, forcing turnovers and lookig to trap Gilbert ball handlers in corners which helped them maintain their slim lead.
“We saved a couple of adjustments for the fourth quarter. We had an opportunity to play them before and it helped us scout,” said Crump. “That’s a really good and well coached team.”
As time slowly ticked down, Gilbert jump shots were just not falling as they were earlier in the game. 6-foot-8 senior center Christian Anigwe and 6-foot-6 senior forward Wesley Harris were able to gobble up rebounds which limited the chance for a Tiger comeback.
Desert Vista only has 4 games remaining in the regular season and will head to Highland High School next Tuesday, Jan. 30 at 7 p.m., to face the Hawks in another Central section game. Gilbert, with only 3 regular season games remaining, will head to Corona Del Sol next Tuesday as well to face the Aztecs in a Central section game starting at 7 p.m.