It’s all fun and games until it gets technical – as in foul.
Desert Vista did enough good things to earn a 52-48 win over Mountain Pointe on Tuesday night in boys basketball action, but got a bit of an assist from the Pride’s student body after a seemingly premeditated act led to a technical foul.
The Thunder, trailing by as much as nine points in the second quarter, didn’t lead until the third quarter when freshman Caleb Simmons made two free throws with 2 minutes and 22 seconds remaining in the third quarter for a 32-30 lead.
It was in the midst of a 14-4 run to erase a 28-23 halftime deficit, but the Pride (4-2) looked to re-gain control of the game when Emmanuel Butler rose up in the lane and came down with a violent dunk to pull within 37-34.
The usual spark such a play can creates was negated by the technical foul called on Mountain Pointe after a majority of the student body exited stage right – running along the sideline opposite of the team benches – to disrupt the game.
The Thunder connected on both technical fouls free throws, retained possession and converted another free throw - or in this case the margin of victory - to push the lead to 40-34.
“That kind of hurt and unfortunately I can’t control that,” Pride coach Hosea Graham said. “It’s a technical foul on the bench. They had to call it.”
The Pride had their own problems – 5 fourth quarter turnovers, having to call back-to-back timeouts in the final minute after not executing the play called during the first time out, rushing the offense instead of making the extra pass – but Graham saw enough to take some positives out of the loss.
“My team played hard, the effort was there,” he said. “We have to play smarter. Everything was there, but we didn’t execute and trust our offense. It’s early season growing pains.”
It’s not to take away from the growth the Thunder (7-4) showed after losing some late leads in the early part of the schedule.
While Desert Vista didn’t help its cause at the line (3 of 9 in the fourth quarter), they played good enough defense and show some restraint on offense to pull out the win.
“We are young, but we are doing some good things,” Desert Vista coach Dave Williams said. “Tonight we stepped up down the stretch. We are working hard to get better.”
Junior Quincy Taylor and David Powell finished with 13 points with Powell, who jawed with the Pride student body, nailing a nearly half-court, rainbow shot to close out the third quarter with a 43-35 lead.
The Pride was led by Butler’s 20 points and 13 rebounds, while Cortez Johnson had seven of his eight points in the fourth quarter.
Mountain Pointe, which chose not to pressure in the finals minutes despite the deficit after reaching the bonus, felt it let one get away on its own court.
“You always want to win this (rivalry) game,” Butler said. “We got away from what we were doing so well.”
And what about the antics of his fellow students.
“I don’t think they knew they’d get a technical,” he said. “You want them to have your back, but they can’t do things that hurt us like that.”
Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or Jskoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.
DV 8 15 20 13 -52
MP 15 13 7 13-48
DV – Rush 2, D. Powell 13, Taylor 13, Ford 3, Frost-Dixon 1, Clarke 11, M. Powell 3, Odom 2, Simmons 4.
MP – Shivers 4, Butler 20, Phepps 2, Ledford 3, Johnson 8, Sullivan 4, Sallahuddin 5, Benford 1.