Mountain Pointe played one of their best defensive games in quite a while, defeating Gilbert 53-48 last night. “I wasn’t surprised,” Coach Eason said. “We have the parts to be a tremendous defensive machine, but the guys have to want to guard, and guard hard.”
That was not a problem last night from the 2nd quarter on, as the Pride held a solid Gilbert team to 9 points in the 2nd quarter and 8 points in the 3rd. “Gilbert is efficient offensively, so we expected them to run great stuff,” Eason added. “My goal was to get the guys to make them take rushed or contested shots; which we did.” The rotations and pressure was very good for Mountain Pointe all night, and besides a few early breakdowns, Gilbert had to work for every basket they got. “Team defense is something we preach.” Coach Eason continued. “I’m not into the star stuff. The team is the star for me. Every night a different guy can lead us offensively, but every game can be great defensively for all the players.”
The offense wasn’t great, but it was timely. There were some opportunities early, but the Pride didn’t take advantage of them. Coach Eason felt it was due to the heavy defensive focus in practice Saturday and Monday. “I definitely wanted to see the defense ramp on, so we put a huge emphasis on that aspect. It probably costs us a few early baskets, because guys were hesitant on offense and putting more emphasis on their defense. I feel we made shots when we needed them. The missed opportunities will improve as we continue to move towards the state tournament.”
Amarion Cash was the offensive spark for MP, has he netted 22 points, 15 coming from behind the 3 point arc. Khalid Price added 10 points, 4 assists and 3 steals, Selah Thomas had 9 points, 3 rebounds, and a steal; and Jalen Graham chipped in 4 points, 9 rebounds and 4 blocked shots. “I felt Amarion shot is well, but he is a better shooter than that, and we’re a better offensive team as a whole.”
The Pride are home tomorrow night in a non-conference game against Cesar Chavez. It’s a camouflage night, so come dressed for battle. Tip off is at 7pm at Mountain Pointe.