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AIA365 Staff | Students

Don Ketchum

Staff Writer,

Desert Mtn. boys maintain momentum with OT win over Saguaro

Jan 11, 2013

It was a basketball victory that the boys from Scottsdale Saguaro and Scottsdale Desert Mountain both needed.

Saguaro needed to get back on track after losing three straight, the last two by a combined four points.

Desert Mountain needed to maintain its momentum after a big two-point road win over blue-blood Mesa and a lopsided triumph over Phoenix North Canyon earlier in the week.

Nobody could figure out what the outcome would be on Friday night (Jan. 11). It went back and forth. Three-pointers rained down from all over the floor.

Finally, overtime.

Host Desert Mountain made 7 of 10 free throws in the extra session and kept Saguaro off the board for the final 1:31 to secure an 82-76 victory.

Desert Mountain, No. 9 in the Division I power seedings entering the week, raised its record to 15-2. Saguaro, No. 9 in the Division II power seedings, fell to 12-7.

“We knew they (Saguaro) would come in geared up,’’ said Desert Mountain coach Todd Fazio. “They shoot the ball so well. They are well-coached and they play hard.’’

Desert Mountain connected on eight 3-pointers in the game, Saguaro seven.

Ryan Berg’s trey from the corner pulled Saguaro within one at 75-74 after Desert Mountain jumped to a quick overtime lead on a basket and two free throws by Rolando Rhymes.

Mark Andrews scored on a layup to put Desert Mountain up 77-74 with 1:48 left, but Saguaro’s Andres Sandoval calmly sank two free throws to keep it close.

Jordan Higgins hit one free throw for Desert Mountain, Rhymes two more and Diego Magana two as the Wolves pulled away in the final 1:20.

Rhymes, who scored 28 points in Desert Mountain’s win over Mesa, again was a key factor.

He scored 21 of his team-high 23 points in the second half, including six in overtime. He converted 13 free throws.

That appears to be part of the game plan – wait to see what’s needed and then go do it. The junior was more aggressive in the second half, taking the ball into the lane and dishing it off or drawing the foul.

“He has been successful in the paint, and he creates some things,’’ Fazio said.

The coach was pleased with his team’s defense in overtime.

“We stepped it up and they (Saguaro) weren’t making their shots like they did in regulation,’’ he said.

Desert Mountain had five men score in double figures. Will Goff followed Rhymes with 17, Andrews had 14 and Magana and Higgins had 10 each.

Berg had a strong effort for Saguaro with 27 points. Mike Hauser scored 19 points and Matt Hauser had 14.