When the Ahwatukee Bowl ended on Sept. 16 and both teams walked off the field through the same gate at Karl Kiefer Field, it could have led to some drama.

Cooler heads prevailed, and nothing came of it.

But something became of the two teams.

On that night, after Mountain Pointe beat Desert Vista 20-17, it would have been difficult to imagine that both teams would be preparing for the Class 5A Division I state semifinals this week.

The Thunder had to rally - when haven't they? - and then hold on to beat a weak Tucson team in the season opener. Mountain Pointe was held in higher regard at the time simply because of the previous season's success, but reality was the Pride had only five of 22 starters returning and didn't have an identity.

Yet 11 weeks later these two programs have qualified for the semifinals in the same season for the first time since Desert Vista gave Ahwatukee Foothills two teams in 1997.

"That's pretty cool," Mountain Pointe coach Norris Vaughan said. "It's good for everyone involved."

Desert Vista coach Dan Hinds has been around the program since the beginning and agrees with Vaughan on the fact that everyone in this area tucked behind South Mountain can be proud.

"It's great for community, and being part of the community, I live here, I have seen some people at the grocery store or wherever and they are excited about both teams," Hinds said.

Third-seeded Desert Vista (10-2) faces No. 10 Mesa Desert Ridge (9-3) at Gilbert Mesquite High and No. 5 Mountain Pointe (10-2) takes on No. 1 Chandler Hamilton (13-0) at Chandler High.

Both games are Friday at 7 p.m. Ticket prices are $10 for adults and $8 for students.

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