Mountain Pointe's free fall just might be coming to an end.
In their second-highest scoring effort of the season, the Pride defeated McClintock at home 83-63 Wednesday night. The team has won three of its last four games and appears to have regained its balance after a midseason six-game losing streak.
"It's a really, really big win for us from the standpoint of getting back on track," Mountain Pointe coach Brian Fleming said. "To come back and win two in a row going into Hamilton, it's really big for us to get some confidence back and just start playing well again."
After beginning the game on a 19-4 run, Mountain Pointe (11-7, 8-3 in power rankings) remained disciplined and controlled the tempo the entire time.
The Pride came out with a much more physical presence on both sides of the floor than the Chargers, winning the rebound contest 36-21. They allowed some easy penetration and scoring in the paint, but never allowed McClintock to get into a productive rhythm.
With a couple players sitting for disciplinary action, Fleming was impressed with his team's ability to come together as a team and maintain that mentality over four quarters of play.
"Individualistic stuff doesn't work in this system," Fleming said. "When the individualistic side of things comes out, it doesn't ever work."
The Pride's scoring was pretty evenly distributed among the entire team. Sophomore guard Jalen Brown led the team with 16 points, while juniors Khari Holloway and Tre Campbell contributed 13 and 12, respectively.
Mountain Pointe's team play and tendency to pass the ball around led to 18 assists. In comparison, McClintock (9-12, 4-9) racked up 10 assists as a team, but seven of those came from Ben Cuevas, the game's leading scorer with 18 points.
Even in regards to the strong assist showing, Pride senior power forward Joe Moses even believed the team "could have passed the ball a little more."
"It's just a confidence builder," said Moses, who provided three points, two rebounds and an assist off the bench. "We came out strong on defense. It was a great win."
With an all-important game on the road against Hamilton lurking on Friday, Fleming believes the team is headed in the right direction.
"They played well together [and] they worked hard together," Fleming said. "It was pretty apparent and pretty obvious that when we play together great things will happen."
Chris Cole is interning this semester for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. He is a sophomore at Arizona State University.