AIA365 Staff Insiders


AIA365 Staff | Students

Les Willsey

Staff Writer,

Fast start, steady play paces Desert Mtn. past Mtn. View

Dec 4, 2012

It's usually unsettling to play a game without your leading scorer, a top defender,  playmaker or rebounder. Desert Mountain had to find out what it was made of in that regard Tuesday night and the result left coach Todd Fazio smiling.

Bolting to a 15-2 lead in the first 4 1/2 minutes, Desert Mountain maintained the lead all night and breezed to a 59-37 victory over Mesa Mountain View at Toro Gym.

Desert Mountain (6-2) was without 17-point-game scorer Diego Magana, idled by a leg contusion after a collision with a game official in the Wolves' game last Friday night. After spotting Mountain View a 2-0 lead on a Payton Dastrup putback in the first minute, Desert Mountain went on a 15-0 run. Magana's replacement -- Remy Smith -- sank two threes in the first period and Jordan Higgins came off the bench to add six points in the quick getaway. The threes by Smith were the first of 10 the Wolves would connect on for the evening.

"We were relying on guys to step up and they did," Fazio said. "One of our strengths is the depth on our bench, especially at the guard position. Remy came out early and stepped up for (Magana)."

A six-turnover first quarter combined with 7-for-11 shooting from the field was essentially Mountain View's demise in this one. The Toros (2-2) worked hard to stay within eight points at intermission with hopes of a turnaround in the second half. The turnaround never came.

Dastrup, the Toros' 6-foot-9 center,  managed 15 points and six rebounds in the first half. Dastrup was determined to get his team back in the game, but he and his teammates combined to make 1-of-15 field goals in the third period. Desert Mountain, struggling with turnovers in the quarter, bumped the lead to 41-26 aftger three periods. All three of Desert Mountain's field goals in the third were from 3-point range -- two by Brant Carter and one by Smith.

Fazio liked his team's defensive effort and the job football standout Mark Andrews and Higgins did defending Dastrup, who scored two points in the second half and finished with 17 plus 10 rebounds..

"They rotated guarding him and did a good job," Fazio said. "He missed some shots he normally makes from close in in the third quarter. I like to think we had something to do with that."

Carter, who didn't score in the first half, tallied 14 points in the second half with four threes. Smith finished with 12 points (four threes) and point guard Rolando Rhymes added nine. Andrews chipped in with a quiet eight points all from inside. 

"Rhymes creates things for us," Fazio said. "That's why others get some good looks. We have to shoot the ball well. That's our identity. We shot well tonight and played good defense."