The final state media ranking of the season predicted this matchup, but the Mountain View and Centennial girls basketball teams have anticipated it since the season tipped off in November.
Top-ranked and defending champion Mountain View (22-4) will play No. 2 Centennial (23-3) for the 5A state championship at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Ford Idaho Center.
It is the third meeting of the season between the two teams, with the Mavericks winning 64-59 on Jan. 5 and 73-64 in the district championship one week ago.
“We’re just going to go in there and attack it like we’ve attacked every game,” Mountain View coach Connie Skogrand said. “You can’t change anything. You’ve got to stay the course.”
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Centennial’s only losses to Idaho teams this season came against Mountain View, but the Patriots nearly knocked off the Mavericks on their home court in early January. Mountain View trailed Centennial the entire game before taking the lead — and the win — in the final two minutes.
“We’ve just got to prove people wrong,” Centennial senior Dominique Williams said. “People have counted us out all year. They asked, ‘Could we finish?’ They thought we couldn’t make it past the first round, and they thought we couldn’t make it past this round, so we’ll just try to finish. That’s pretty much it.”
CENTENNIAL 55, BOISE 43
The Patriots weren’t particularly pleased with their offensive performance in the first round of the state tournament. They more than made up for it in the semifinals against Boise.
Centennial went 10-of-19 from beyond the arc to advance to the state championship for the first time since 2012.
Junior guard Tori Williams made six of those 3-pointers to register a game-high 25 points with seven steals, six assists and four rebounds. Lauren Brocke and Dominique Williams added two 3s apiece and finished with 10 points each.
“We’re in the gym all the time shooting 3s, so we were letting it fly,” said Tori, whose six 3s were two shy of tying the single-game tournament record.
Boise had a two-point advantage at the end of the first quarter, but couldn’t keep pace with the hot-shooting Patriots the rest of the way.
Brocke opened the second quarter with a trey, and Centennial outscored Boise 18-8 for a 31-23 lead at halftime.
“They were fired up, and they settled in,” Centennial coach Cassie Bro said. “That first game, it’s always kind of rocky. They were just determined, played good defense, worked the ball around and got good shots.”
Boise (18-7) will take on Eagle (21-5) for the third-place trophy at 11 a.m. Saturday at Skyview High in Nampa.
MOUNTAIN VIEW 72, EAGLE 52
The Idaho Center had to be evacuated with 2 minutes, 8 seconds remaining in the second quarter after the fire alarm went off.
Although a reason for the alarm was never found, it wouldn’t be unfair to blame the Mavericks.
Mountain View was in the midst of a 31-point quarter when the alarm went off, and the Mavericks returned from the 20-minute hiatus with continued fire to qualify for the state championship game for the second year in a row.
“We came back, and we were on fire, but we already had momentum when that alarm went off,” Mountain View coach Connie Skogrand said. “A lot of times when something like that happens, you lose momentum. It’s too much down time. But my kids got it back.”
The Mavericks outscored the Mustangs 9-2 when they returned from the 20-minute disruption, highlighted by Destiny Slocum’s steal and behind-the-back assist to Devenee Villareal for a layup that drew “Oooooooos” from every corner of the arena.
Slocum led all scorers for the second day in a row with 30 points. The No. 7 player in the nation in the 2016 class — according to ESPNW — has 61 points in two games. She needs 23 points in Saturday’s championship to top the tournament record set by Sandpoint’s Ali Nieman in 1996.
Slocum is averaging 24.9 points per game.
Junior guard Taeli Carrillo kept Mountain View’s offense going in the second half, scoring 10 the team’s 17 points in the third quarter to finish with 14.
HILLCREST 56, BORAH 45
Junior guard Addy Kirkham went 5-for-7 from 3-point range and finished with a game-high 19 points as eastern champion Hillcrest eliminated Borah. The Knights (23-2) will try to win their second consolation trophy in three seasons when they play Lake City (20-5) at 9:15 a.m. Saturday at Skyview High in Nampa. Sophomore forward Alyssa Bolt led the Lions (18-11) with 17 points before fouling out, and senior Michal Bilger added 14 points.
LAKE CITY 59, HIGHLAND 29
Twelve players scored for Lake City as it rolled past Highland into the consolation game in the program’s first appearance at state since 2009. Timberwolves post Nina Carlson — who is verbally committed to Idaho — led all scorers with 15 points and four rebounds in 19 minutes of action. Lake City shot 51.4 percent from the field while holding Highland (14-12) to 22.5 percent.
Saturday’s state championship games
At the Ford Idaho Center, Nampa
5A: Mountain View (22-4) vs. Centennial (23-3), 8 p.m.
4A: Bishop Kelly (20-5) vs. Century (20-4), 6 p.m.
3A: Timberlake (22-1) vs. Marsh Valley (20-5), 3:50 p.m.
2A: West Jefferson (21-5) vs. Soda Springs (21-5), 1:40 p.m.
1A Division I: Lapwai (20-2) vs. Prairie (18-6), 11:30 a.m.
1A Division II: Richfield (21-6) vs. Dietrich (15-9), 9:30 a.m.