Senior night didn’t turn out the way the Pride would have liked, as they dropped the game 68-59 to Gilbert. The loss was more than just a tough way for the seniors to play their last home regular season game, it also cost MP the conference title and their 3rd spot in the state tournament. “The team came out flat.” Coach Eason said. “Gilbert has been a tough team all year. If they had one more player, they would be in the 6A title talks. We talk about the 3 E’s (Energy, Effort, and Execution); our guys didn’t bring any of that. Against a well coached team like them, you’re going to get beat, and that’s exactly what happened.”
The Pride couldn’t get much consistency on either side of the ball, at times looked lost. “It was just a bad showing. Going into the state playoff and coming off 2 solid wins, it was disappointing; especially on Senior Night.” Eason added. “That falls on my shoulders. Maybe we need to do something different.”
Coach Eason knows this effort is not going to get this team very far in the state playoffs, but he also doesn’t want people to lose sight of how good Gilbert is as a team. “Gilbert is no slouch.” Eason explains. “Our guys mentally thought they were going to lay down for them. Instead, they set out to knock off a “heavyweight” and they did.”
The Pride got a 15 point 4th quarter effort from senior guard, Terrance Hunter. Junior Khalid Price chipped with 14 and senior Amarion Cash had 12. Coach Eason was happy to see Terrance have his best game, but was not happy with the few players that had their worst game. Going into the states on a low note was clearly not on the coach’s agenda, but he’s focusing on the playoffs. “At the end of the day, we have playoffs to get ready for. Hopefully, my staff and I can get these guys motivated for the states, but they have to want to win. That we can’t control.”
The Pride will wait until Saturday evening to find out who they will play, which doesn’t make Coach Eason happy. The game is next Tuesday, and we need to get and watch film, organize a game plan, and put it all in on Monday.” Eason says. “You would like to have more time than that, especially when the play-in games will be complete Friday night, but we’ll be ready.”
Coach Eason wanted tonight to focus on the seniors. “Win, lose or draw, it’s been a good season. I’m happy for the seniors; Ryan, John, Amarion, Selah and Terrance. They didn’t have the senior night they wanted, score-wise, but it’s been a successful season for them. Plus, it was a great ceremony for them and their families.” Eason said. “The school should be proud of the commitment those 4 guys made to the school. They have represented themselves, their families, the school and the program, the right way.”
First round of the playoffs are next Tuesday, and your Mountain Pointe Pride will play a home game. Check in to see what seed they get and who they play.