Destiny Slocum didn’t intend to cry, but by the time she reached the locker room with the state championship trophy, the tears were falling.
The senior point guard had just wrapped up one of the best seasons in Idaho high school girls basketball history with Mountain View’s second consecutive 5A state championship, a 62-50 victory over conference rival Centennial on Saturday night at the Ford Idaho Center.
Slocum set records for most points (85) and highest average (28.3) in a tournament, collecting the first milestone with a pair of free throws with 58.6 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Sandpoint’s Alli Nieman set the previous record with 83 points in 1996.
“When you’re a part of something so great, it kind of hits you that this is your last time being a part of something so amazing and a coaching staff that truly developed me as a player. Teammates that really just pushed me to not only be the best player I could be, but the best person I could be,” Slocum said.
“It’s just bittersweet. I want to leave and go to the next level, but I want to stay. I want to keep going. I wish I could stay in high school forever and keep playing.”
Slocum, who has signed with Maryland, finished the final game of her high school career with 24 points, six rebounds and six assists, bringing her career points total to 2,284.
But Slocum could not have achieved the Treasure Valley’s first back-to-back 5A titles since the early 1980s without a supporting cast that only got stronger as the season went on.
Junior Adriana Vickery moved into the starting lineup this season, filling a void at the post that many expected would be Mountain View’s biggest obstacle to repeating.
Their lack of size — Vickery is the tallest starter at 5-foot-9 — didn’t hinder their ability to score. Mountain View averaged a state-leading 68.3 points per game and went 48-2 against Idaho teams the past two seasons.
Vickery posted a double-double of 13 points and 10 boards in the title game, and junior Taeli Carrillo added 11 points, five rebounds and two assists. Junior guard Abby Kreiser — who opened the scoring in the championship game with a 3-pointer — finished with 10 points.
“I could have all these averages and the most points in the state, I don’t even care,” Slocum said. “Those girls really had my back the whole time, and that’s all you can ask for in a team.”
Mountain View (23-4) led from start to finish but endured several threats from the Patriots (23-4) before foul trouble made it difficult for Centennial to keep pace.
“They didn’t sit there and let Destiny try to do everything,” Mountain View coach Connie Skogrand said. “They all got involved, and I think that really has been the key for us since we went undefeated in January and February.”
Although the Mavericks lose Slocum and fellow seniors Devenee Villareal and Gabby Jablonski to graduation, they return four players who started at least half the games this season for a shot at winning the program’s unprecedented third straight title.
“Back to back, and we’re not done yet,” Kreiser said. “We’re coming back next year strong.”
- 5A: Mountain View 62, Centennial 50
- 4A: Century 55, Bishop Kelly 45
- 3A: Timberlake 62, Marsh Valley 35
- 2A: West Jefferson 45, Soda Springs 37
- 1A Division I: Lapwai 47, Prairie 43
- 1A Division II: Richfield 51, Dietrich 40