Boise and Mountain View to play in 5A District Three championship game

rroberts@idahostatesman.com © 2014 Idaho StatesmanFebruary 9, 2014 

Top seeds tumbled in the semifinals of the 5A District Three girls basketball tournament Saturday at Capital High.

No. 4 Boise handed previously unbeaten Rocky Mountain its first loss of the season, and No. 3 Mountain View avenged a pair of regular-season losses by defeating No. 2 Centennial.

The Braves and Mavericks will meet for the district title this week, but their semifinal victories already guarantee them a spot in the state tournament. The two teams split their regular-season meetings.

Boise last won a district title in 2004, while Mountain View is chasing its first championship. Tipoff is 7 p.m. Friday at Capital High.

MOUNTAIN VIEW 50, CENTENNIAL 47

The locker room was so loud, Mountain View coach Connie Skogrand said she couldn’t hear herself think.

She wasn’t complaining.

In their third meeting against the Patriots (18-4), the Mavericks (17-5) finally found their rhythm, securing a victory and their second consecutive trip to the state tournament.

“Together I think we found ourselves finally as a unit,” Mountain View sophomore point guard Destiny Slocum said. “Instead of playing individually, we combined all our skills to create one great team.”

Skogrand said it’s been a work in progress for her young team. She starts one freshman, one sophomore, two juniors and a senior.

Slocum, the reigning 5A Southern Idaho Conference Player of the Year, has been steady all season, but Skogrand said it is the team’s improved inside game that has made a big difference in recent weeks.

“Our inside kids have really picked it up in the last three weeks, and we really stressed it in practice,” Skogrand said. “I’ve just seen every game, our post kids getting better and better.”

Slocum led all scorers with 23 points and six assists, while post Renee Routhier had eight points and five rebounds. Freshman Kayla Anderson added seven points and seven boards.

Centennial trailed by as many as 16 points in the fourth quarter, but made a dramatic comeback in the second half of the quarter to nearly steal the win.

During a one-minute stretch, sophomore Dominique Williams scored 10 straight points to pull the Patriots within 46-43 with 3 minutes, 18 seconds left in the game.

Freshman Tori Williams — who led Centennial with 21 points — twice brought the Patriots within a basket in the final minute, but Mountain View kept its composure to secure the win.

BOISE 52, ROCKY MOUNTAIN 42

The doubt started to creep in for Rocky Mountain when 6-foot-2 Boise sophomore post Issy Hadden blocked the shot of point guard Madi Kelly in the final seconds of the first half.

The crowd erupted, and the Braves (16-6) headed to the locker room trailing unbeaten and top-ranked Rocky Mountain by only three points.

The Grizzlies (21-1) were never able to regain their confidence, scoring just three points in the third quarter and giving up 19 in the final frame to put them in a win-or-go-home situation next week.

For Boise, which starts one senior, the victory means the Braves are headed to the state tournament for the first time since 2011. The Braves are only two years removed from a 2-18 season.

“It was just about playing free, playing with no fear,” Boise coach Kim Brydges said. “We knew that we weren’t the ones that were supposed to win this game, so we used that as an advantage.”

The Braves forced 23 Rocky Mountain turnovers, and held senior post Megan Hochstein to a season-low four points by keeping the ball out of her hands.

“It’s good when you beat a team that you’ve wanted to beat for a really long time,” said Boise sophomore Hanna Orton, who scored a game-high 17 points with 10 rebounds. “But I think that it’s better when you have not just teammates, but you have your best friends when you’re beating a good team. That was really important, too.”

Rocky Mountain was led by Utah Valley signee Kelly with 13 points. The Grizzlies can still advance to state with a win against Eagle in their elimination game next Wednesday.

“They haven’t been in any tight games really except for one, and it showed,” Rocky Mountain coach Emery Roy said. “They panicked and missed some easy shots, didn’t make free throws, turned the ball over.”

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