In what was billed as the main event for the opening night of Arizona basketball, #4 Mountain Pointe took on #5 Brophy. The game was everything it was supposed to be, but in the end the Pride fell one point short; losing 61-62. It was the Pride’s first loss of the year, and their first regular season game. “It was a great basketball environment.” Coach Eason said. “Two ranked opponents, a hostile crowd, great players, great plays, and a little controversy.”
It was a tale of two halves for the Mountain Pointe boys, as they were inconsistent in the first half, and clicking in the second half. “We beat ourselves,” point guard Khalid Price explained. “I have to get going early, and I didn’t.” Senior Amarion Cash added. After one quarter, MP was up 16-12, but the score masked the what really was going on in the first half. “We got 16 points in the first, but the offense was stale.” Eason responded. “We weren’t cutting hard, the execution was sloppy, and there was no real flow. We were lost on both sides of the ball” That proved true in the second quarter, where Brophy controlled the quarter, outscoring the Pride 23-10. Giving Brophy a 35-26 lead at the half.
In the second half, the Pride slowly got things rolling, and cut the lead to 1 with 30 seconds left. After a timeout, Cash made a tough lay up to put MP up 61-60. Brophy quickly pushed the ball down the floor and made a lay up attempt that was thwarted by Jalen Graham blocked shot. There was a scramble for the ball, and Brophy came up with it and called timeout. We play resumed, Brophy penetrated the Pride defense and found a player open under the basket for the game winning lay up. “Poor execution reared it’s ugly head, and at the worst possible time,” Eason explained. “We forgot to trap on our sideline defense, which allowed their point guard to have the ball. Then our help side rotation was late on the winning lay up. Championship teams have to finish games, and we didn’t.”
Like any great game, there is always some controversy, and this game had it. With 1.2 seconds left, after the winning lay up was scored, the Brophy student sections ran on to the court. This is an automatic technical foul, which the referee chose not to call. Coach Eason did not want to comment on the conversation with the referee, but it’s obvious he wasn’t pleased. “The boys need to take care of business, and not let anything (including a ref’s decision) cost them the game,” added Eason.
The Pride travel to Bolder Creek this Thursday night. They’ll be looking to even their record to 1-1. 7pm tip off. Be there to support the Pride.