Boys state basketball: Thunder plays with hunger, thump Toros - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Game Day

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Boys state basketball: Thunder plays with hunger, thump Toros

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Posted: Saturday, February 18, 2012 8:15 pm

Many believe Corona del Sol and Pinnacle, the top two seeds in the Division I boys basketball tournament, are on a crash course to face off in the state championship.

If No. 5 Desert Vista continues to play like it did on Saturday night, it might put a wrench in those plans.

There are few teams in the state with the talent to hang with the Aztecs and Pioneers, but the Thunder is one of them, and it showed that potential in a 69-37 thrashing of visiting Mountain View to advance to the state quarterfinals.

Desert Vista will face off with No. 4 seed Gilbert on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. at Wells Fargo Arena.

"These kids are very immature," Desert Vista coach Dave Williams said. "I don't want to sound negative, but (it's true). When they focus and play together, we can beat anybody. Any time, any place."

The Thunder jumped out to a 25-5 lead after the first quarter and the 12th-seeded Toros didn't get closer than 16 points the rest of the way. Desert Vista was coming off a lackluster performance in a blowout loss to Pinnacle in the Division I, Section III semifinals, but was hot in this one from start to finish.

The lead grew to as many as 35 points in the fourth quarter and the last portion of the game was played with a running clock.

Kyle Pitman hit four 3-pointers in the first half to ignite the hot start and finished with 14 points. Danny Powell added 11 points and 14 rebounds, only taking nine shots. Williams lauded his decision-making in the game.

"When Danny Powell plays the way Desert Vista plays, I don't know if there is anybody that can beat us," Williams said. "I just don't. Tonight we moved the basketball and he didn't care who scored. He just wanted the victory."

Mountain View couldn't slow down Desert Vista on the defensive end and had trouble hitting open shots on offense. The Toros defeated the Thunder 53-52 on Dec. 29 in a game that was close throughout, but this one was a completely different story.

"We did everything wrong you could do wrong, and they did everything right you can do right," Mountain View coach Gary Ernst said. "They shot the ball well, they outhustled us, outscrapped us. I do not understand."

Cam Boone had nine points and four blocks and Payton Dastrup added nine points and seven rebounds, but the Toros never found any sort of rhythm. Despite being the No. 12 seed, Mountain View was seen as a squad with the ability to advance deep into the tournament if it played well, but those dreams were dashed quickly.

"We were just out of sync and out of character, and (Desert Vista) had a lot to do with that," Ernst said.


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Jason P. Skoda
  • Jason P. Skoda
  • Sports writer
  • Resident sports writer at the Ahwatukee Foothills News

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