Mountain Pointe will not see a return to the semi-finals in the AIA State Championship, as they take the loss to Xavier Prep Saturday night in Phoenix, 58-38.
The 2018 season came to an end sooner than the Pride of Mountain Pointe envisioned with Xavier beating them handily by 20 points.
"This was not how we wanted to see the night end," said Mountain Pointe assistant coach Donnis Henry. "We had a good game plan going into it, but buckets didn't fall early and some of the easy stuff that we needed to do didn't happen."
He added, "We knew with this game that we needed the little things because they were the things that were going to get us over the hump."
Xavier dominated from the start of the game taking control of the ball early and putting a stop to most of Mountain Pointe's offensive attack.
"I thought defense was the key tonight," said Xavier head coach, Jennifer Gillom. "We had a lot of turnovers and we had a lot of missed shots, but our defense was consistent and I give credit to that."
Seniors Katie Hassett and Montana Oltrogge of Xavier were vital to the team's success blocking many of the Mountain Pointe's shots.
At the end of the first half, Xavier led Mountain Pointe 36-15, behind strong leadership provided throughout the game by junior point guard, Leilani McIntosh.
"That kid I can't say enough about her," said coach Gillom. " She is such a great point guard, she is a great leader and she keeps her team calm, which helps us a lot."
Mountain Pointe continued to struggle at the start of the second half with many turnovers and poor communication.
After a frustrating few minutes in the third quarter, Mountain Pointe head coach Justin Hagar, turned to his team and said, "they're not talking."
Xavier maintained defensive pressure on Mountain Pointe despite attempts by senior point guard, Isela Enriquez to mount an offensive attack.
"Those girls have always exuded great leadership," said coach Henry. " Obviously Isela leads that group. She gets them going on the court."
Enriquez would help to focus her team which allowed them to put up more points, however it would prove too late.
Mountain Pointe struggled to break through the wall of defenders that Xavier provided and ultimately lost the game 58-38.
"I think Mountain Pointe is just a hard-nose team that never gives up and you respect teams like that," said coach Gillom.
She added, "They're going to play you to the final second and that's what they did tonight. Even though they were down 20 with 10 seconds to go, they were still pressuring us so I give a lot of respect to that team, they have great coaches and a great team."
Although Mountain Pointe will not be moving on in the tournament, coach Henry was encouraged for his team.
"It was a great season and we'll be back. We have a lot of great talent that is returning, and some new talent as well. We'll take another big step forward and hopefully be back to another final four."
Xavier Prep will move onto the Semi-finals and face No. 1-seed Millennium next Wednesday, at Wells Fargo Arena.