While most people had the day off, the Mountain Pointe basketball team got to work on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Jerome Garrison and Tylor Wimbish led the way Monday afternoon at Wells Fargo Arena in a 74-60 Mountain Pointe victory over Mesa Skyline in East Valley Region action at the MLK Classic.
Wimbish tallied 24 points, with 18 coming in the second half to go along with Garrison's 12 second-half points as he finished with 20. After being up only two points at half, the two seniors took over.
"(Wimbish) is a very patient kid. He doesn't really look for too much," said Mountain Pointe coach Brian Fleming. "He's a team guy, tries to do what's best for the team."
The turning point came in the third quarter, a quarter marked by streaks. Mountain Pointe (12-6, 4-1) opened the second half on an 8-0 run to take a 35-25 lead. That lead quickly vanished as Skyline went on a 7-0 run in just over a minute to cut the lead to three. Mountain Pointe countered by ending the quarter on an 8-0 run, taking an 11-point lead, effectively putting the game away.
"We play in streaks, basketball is in steaks anyways," Fleming said. "It just happened to be today the streaks were in our favor."
Skyline (8-9, 1-5) was led by Jonathan Sims, who finished with 19 points, while keeping Skyline in the game most of the way. Angel Ung also had a productive game scoring 17 points. The Coyotes kept it close until Mountain Pointe's final run of the third quarter.
"Skyline has been playing much better recently. They have a lot size and a lot of good players," Fleming said. "It was nice that we went on those streaks."
Wimbish started off slow and was held to just six points in the first half. Much of Skyline's defense was geared toward stopping Wimbish. However, in the second half Garrison asserted himself as a scorer and Skyline was forced to keep an eye on the slashing guard as well.
"In the first half they were doubling down on me in the post," Wimbish said. "In the second half they were focusing more on Jerome so that's how I got my open looks."
Feeding off each other, Garrison and Wimbish became a two-man wrecking crew in the second half. They combined for 30 of the team's 47 second half points. Skyline could not find the answer to stopping both of them.
"Jerome's a phenomenal player. When I'm not doing well he picks me up and vice-versa," Wimbish said.
Garrison attacked the lane and facilitated the ball effectively throughout the game. He picked his spots, knowing when to be the scorer and when to be the passer.
Coach Fleming has high praise for Garrison who is set to go to Grand Canyon University next fall.
"Jerome is the ultimate player," Fleming said. "He is such a solid individual. I wouldn't expect anything less from him. He's just a fantastic player."
Both Wimbish and Garrison are known as team players, always doing what they can to help the team. Wimbish is a quiet leader, leading by example. Monday's game was no deviation from the norm with Wimbish.
"I just went out there and did what I could to help my team win." Wimbish said.
Kemp is a freshman at Arizona State and majoring in journalism.