After Friday’s afternoon tilt in the Nike Tournament of Champions, the feet of Jaysie Sheppard-Chambers ached from stomping her feet in frustration.
It was an improvement from the day before when Desert Vista girls basketball coach was in complete agony with the way the Thunder played in the tournament opener.
“It was a big improvement when it comes to effort,” she said. “We had mental accidents the day before. There was no effort and it made me sick. They turned that around. Maybe they are starting to understand.”
The first year with a new coach can take some time before it comes together. At the 10-game point, Desert Vista and their new coach are still trying to get on the same page.
For one game it came together as the Thunder improved to 6-4 with a 49-31 win over Mount Miguel from Spring Valley, Calif., at Chandler High.
The Thunder jumped out to a 14-4 lead after the first quarter and pushed it to 27-11 at halftime as their press and fast-paced offense controlled the game.
The third quarter was a rough patch and Mount Miguel (4-4) climbed back into when a jump shot by Deijah Blanks closed the margin to 36-27 early in the fourth.
After a timeout and bit of a refresher course by Sheppard-Chambers, Desert Vista went on a 13-4 run to close out the win.
“We had some troubles there but got it together,” senior guard Kylie Butler said. “We got a pretty good lead by playing team defense and we got away from it. Once we did that we took control.”
Butler led the team with 16 points as 11 different players scored with Janae Martin next at seven points.
The win advances the Thunder to fifth-place game in the Mike Desper bracket as they will take on Chandler at Perry High at 3 p.m.
Mountain Pointe girls also won on Friday, beating Lake Washington (Wash.) 59-29, to advance to the fifth0place game in the M division bracket. The Pride (13-2) will face the winner of Culver City (Calif.) and Mesa Mountain View at 5:30 p.m. at Perry.
"We came out a little more interested and in better spirits," Mountain Pointe coach Trevor Neider said. "We didn't have finals. We could just concentrate on basketball and it showed on the court."
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