The Desert Vista boys basketball team could have continued to let the slide happen.

The Thunder lost a double-digit lead and trailed in overtime by four points. It was their sixth game in eight days. Red Mountain was getting to lose balls and grabbing control.

Instead, the Desert Vista (10-6) found a way to fight off all the negatives to beat the Mountain Lions 71-66 in OT on the second day of the VisitMesa.com Challenge.

“We found a way to stay with it,” senior guard Greg Carter said. “They made some shots (at the end of regulation) but we did what we had to win it.”

Desert Vista, which made 9 of 14 3-pointers, led 51-36 after senior Kyle Pitman put back his own miss with 10 minutes left in the second half.

Red Mountain (10-6) tied it at 57 on a pair of free throws by Desi Ethridge and led 60-57 with 36 seconds left when Andy Sessions split a pair of free throws.

Desert Vista’s Avery Brunson drilled a 3-pointer with 3.8 seconds left to send it into OT at 60.

Red Mountain led 64-60 before Carter took over as he scored the next nine points, ignited by a three-point play, for the five-point lead.

In the final seconds, Red Mountain closed within three and after Diego Hernandez missed the first free throw, he threw it hard against the backboard but a lane violation gave the ball back to Thunder, who closed out the win with two free throws by Marshall Powell.

Carter led all scorers with 28 points, while Pitman had 13 and Brunson contributed 10 points and seven rebounds as the Thunder improved to 2-0 in the event.

Red Mountain’s Colton Plourd, Derek Rojas and Ethridge had 12 each as Lions fell to 0-2 in the tournament.

“We’ve played 16 games and we know who we are,” Red Mountain coach Greg Sessions. “We are a good basketball team that needs to make plays to win and we didn’t have enough of them.”

Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or JSkoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.

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