It wasn’t a game-breaker, but a fourth quarter slam by Davon Jones showed that Mountain Pointe is back and means business.
The powerful small by Jones put an exclamation point on the seventh-seeded Pride’s 87-72 victory at home over No. 10 Tucson in the opening round of the boys state 5A-1 playoff Thursday night.
Mountain Pointe had four players shoot in double figures and it was too many points of attack for the Badgers to cover.
The Pride are moving on to the second round at Mesa Mountain View, 55-33 winners over Tucson Salpointe in another first round game.
“The key was the unselfishness and the ability to for us to distribute the basketball to whoever has the hot hand,” Mountain Point coach Brian Fleming said. “We have a lot of weapons.”
Junior Tylor Wimbish had the hottest hand, scoring a team-high 23 points for the Pride, but Fleming said it was players like Mike Ramirez, the East Valley Player of the Year, that made the difference.
“When the Player of the year in the year can distribute, play smart, play defense and never level the floor not have to do anything in the second half, that’s a key. He could have shot the ball 30 times, but what good would that have done.”
They Pride were 11-15 last season and hadn’t been in a playoff game in four years.
“This has been a transformation and it hasn’t been easy. The credit goes to these kids who are unselfish,” Fleming added. “I’m speechless. Everyone said our conference was too easy and Tucson was going to come in because we didn’t have the athletes.”
Mountain View edged the Pride by seven points in a holiday tournament earlier this year after Mountain Pointe missed a layup with that would have tied it up with a minute and a half to go.
“I’m expecting a very intense game,” Fleming added.
Jones finished with 19 points and Israel Marshall, who also had a dunk to spark an 18-11 Pride run in the third quarter, closed out with 14 points.
Jerome Garrison contributed another 12 points Pride guard Stevie Knox added another 11.
“They hit their baskets, made their free throw and were more physical than us, especially on the rebounds,” Tucson coach Gary Lewis said.
Tucson’s Taku Sama led all scorers with 33 points and Shakir Smith made three 3-point shots and finished with 27 points.
Score by quarters:
Tucson - 12 12 27 21 – 72
Mt. Pointe - 20 15 26 26 - 87
Tucson – Taku Sama 33, Shakir Smith 27, Landyn Lewis 7, Andy Valdovinos 3, Ruben Silvas 2.
Mt. Pointe – Tylor Wimbsih 23, Davon Jones 19, Israel Marshall 14, Jerome Garrison 12, Stevie Knox 11, Mike Ramriez 8.