What has become normal for the Mountain Pointe boys basketball team, they started slow, and then got the ship righted. However tonight, the Pride got the ship on course and it was full steam ahead; as they defeated Desert Ridge 83-53. MP was up at the half 36-35, but came out on fire; dominating the third quarter 26-5. Coach Eason had the magic words to get the boys going. “I tried to focus on our statistical goals at the half.” Coach Eason commented. “After we looked at the numbers, I needed to put a fire under the boys.” Whatever Coach Eason said definitely work, as the team won the second half 47-18.
The defensive was as good as ever in the second half. The team forced a ton of turnovers, got a bunch of deflections and limited Desert Ridge to a few offensive rebounds. “Defensively we needed a wake up call, so went back to the basics.” Eason explained. The Pride subbed in waves, playing all 13 players, which wore down their opponent. At times it seemed like MP had 7 or 8 players on the floor, as they swarmed, trapped and crashed the boards. “The guys made an effort tonight on D. Effort is all it takes,” Eason says. “Defense is a “will,” not a skill; you gotta want to play it.”
While the defense brought a championship level intensity, the offense was showed championship efficiency. Every MP player scored tonight, including 4 players in double figures. Sophomore DeAndre Henry led the way with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Freshmen Noah Simmons had a career high of 13 (4 threes) off the bench. Seniors Selah Thomas (11 points) and Ryan Pate (10 points), rounded out the double figure scoring. “Our philosophy is “The Team is the Star.” Eason added. “Any night can be anybody’s night. We don’t have a star player. Lid (Khalid Price), Amarion (Cash), and Jalen (Graham) have been our leading scorers most of the season, but neither played great offensively, and Jalen didn’t play, so Dre (Henry), Noah, and Selah jumped on the opportunity.”
With 2 games left in the regular season, the Pride Boys are looking to finish strong. Winning the next 2 games gives them the conference title and should solidify a top 4 seed in the state playoffs.
The Pride are on the road at Corona Friday night. Tip off is at 7pm. Come out and support the team.