The mostly quiet Mountain Pointe gym was suddenly filled with the reverberating voice of Pride coach Trevor Neider.

"Who has Wolph? Who has Wolph?"

It wasn't long before a Pride defender stepped out of the key toward the half-court line where Desert Vista guard Emily Wolph was waiting patiently before making a move or two that led to an easy basket.

That play withstanding the Pride actually did a solid a job of defending the dynamic point guard considering she scored 13 points less than the first meeting. Problem is Wolph still managed to pour in 17 along with four assists, three rebounds and five steals in a 63-48 win.

"She is just so smooth and calm at all times," Neider said. "All we talked about was slowing her down and she gets left with no one on her. It is those little things that we have to clean up if we are going to start beating those team ranked higher than us."

Wolph torched the Pride in the first meeting for 30 points and the sophomore has continued grow in her second year running the team.

All of her numbers are up and not coincidently so is the Thunder's winning percentage as Desert Vista finished the regular season at 22-5 after going 12-16 a year ago.

"A lot of the girls feed off her and play so much better when she plays at a high level," Thunder coach Rachel Proudfoot. "She has such a will to win and it trickles down to everyone else."

Wolph had a hand in putting the game away in the third quarter after Mountain Pointe (20-8) closed within 36-29 with just over 3 minutes remaining in the third quarter. Wolph stripped the Pride's Myesha McGhee and after Kylie Butler grabbed the loose ball, she fed Jayla Brown for an easy layup.

Next Mountain Pointe trip down the court, Wolph had another steal and went coast-to-coast for a 40-29 lead.

While Wolph had her way with the Pride most of the game, forward Jaymee Brugman finished with 19 points, nine rebounds, two assists and two steals.

For the second meeting in a row against the Thunder, the Pride got into a big hole to start, this time 18-4, but settled down and played better the rest of the way.

"That's the frustrating part because after starting slow we showed we can play with them and beat them," senior guard Caitlyn Hetrick said. "If we start doing the little things then we can start beating the teams ahead of us."

Hetrick finished with 17 points and newcomer Sophia Anaya, who transferred from Marcos de Niza over the break and had to sit out 10 days, added 13.

The Pride's season long bugaboo - free throw shooting - showed up again as they were just 2 of 11 from the line at halftime when they trailed 33-21 and finished 9 of 24 overall.

"We have to clean those little things up," Neider said. "Good teams make layups and free throws and get stops when we need to. We need to clean that up going forward."

Mountain Pointe has one more game - Friday at Gilbert - to close out the regular season before both teams qualify for the Division I, Section III sectional tournament, which gets underway Tuesday.

Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or Follow him on Twitter @JskodaAFN.

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