Here is a bit of advice for the seven girls basketball teams looking to dethrone defending champion Mountain View at next week’s 5A state tournament: Don’t leave anyone unattended.
While it might be tempting to devote all five defenders to slowing senior point guard Destiny Slocum, a Naismith Trophy Girl’s High School Player of the Year semifinalist who wowed Friday’s near-capacity crowd with 36 points, it is the four other Mavericks on the court who give Mountain View an almost unstoppable edge.
Mountain View shot 50 percent from the field and made 9-of-17 shots from 3-point range to take down defending 5A District Three Tournament champion Centennial 73-64 at Eagle High.
It is the Mavericks’ second district title in three seasons and assures the 2015 state champions the league’s No. 1 seed at next week’s tournament. Mountain View (20-4) will open play at 1:15 p.m. Thursday against the winner of Saturday’s play-in game between Borah (17-9) and Post Falls (14-10).
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Centennial (21-3) draws northern champion Lake City (19-4) in Thursday’s 6:15 p.m. game at the Ford Idaho Center in Nampa.
68.7 Points Mountain View is averaging per game, nearly 10 points better than any team in the 5A SIC
“We have offensive weapons, and that is probably why we average almost 69 points a game,” Mountain View coach Connie Skogrand said.
Added Slocum: “We just have a super-talented team. We have a lot of girls who have played basketball for a long, long time, and they know the game. Yeah, it requires coaching, but some of us just know the game like it’s second nature.
“I think that’s what makes us deadly, is that anybody can go off.”
Playing in her third district championship game in four seasons, it was Slocum’s night. She made 6-of-12 3-pointers as Mountain View led by as much as 24 points midway through the fourth quarter.
Juniors Adriana Vickery and Kayla Anderson poured in 12 points apiece for the Mavericks, and Abby Kreiser added seven points and four assists.
“We are hustlers. We just play with a lot of heart,” Vickery said. “If we want to go get a rebound or go get a steal, we just go for it.”
Mountain View’s 205 points in three games established a state tournament record last season, and the Mavericks appear to be on pace to challenge the record next week.
But they aren’t anticipating an easy road to a second consecutive title despite a dominant showing against Centennial, which was ranked No. 2 in the final state media poll behind Mountain View.
“We need to carry that target on our back with a little bit of pride and a little bit of focus,” Slocum said. “We have to go into the state tournament more focused than any other team, because we are going to get every team’s best game those three games. No matter who we play. The last seed or the first seed.”
Mountain View is 45-2 against Idaho teams the past two seasons. Both of those losses came against Boise, last year’s state runner-up.
“It’s a dog fight,” Skogrand said. “Everybody’s good at state.”
Recent 5A District Three champions
- 2016: Mountain View 73, Centennial 64
- 2015: Centennial 59, Boise 54
- 2014: Mountain View 70, Boise 48
- 2013: Capital 71, Mountain View 63
- 2012: Vallivue 49, Centennial 41
- 2011: Centennial 61, Boise 58
- 2010: Centennial 44, Boise 39
- 2009: Centennial 60, Vallivue 56
- 2008: Vallivue 48, Centennial 38
- 2007: Borah 47, Centennial 28
- 2006: Borah 50, Centennial 37
- 2005: Borah 46, Timberline 22
- 2004: Boise 42, Timberline 40
Thirteen Treasure Valley girls basketball teams have punched their ticket to state next week. Six more will try to qualify via play-in games Saturday.
▪ 5A: Mountain View (20-4), Centennial (21-3), Eagle (20-4), Boise (17-6)
▪ 4A: Bishop Kelly (18-5), Kuna (16-5)
▪ 3A: Weiser (12-10), Homedale (18-5)
▪ 2A: New Plymouth (18-4), Cole Valley Christian (20-2)
▪ 1A Division I: Liberty Charter (20-2), Notus (13-9)
▪ 1A Division II: Council (19-4)