Basketball: Mountain View beats Sabino, teams wait for Sectional bidsby Andy Morales on Feb. 02, 2013, under Sports
All the regular season games have been played and all that’s left is to see is which teams qualified for a sectional berth. The top eight basketball teams in each section (3 per division) will play in a single elimination bracket beginning on Tuesday, February 5 at various locations throughout the state.
The top eight teams can still earn seeding points so the 24-team bracket for state play will not be decided until the last sectional game is played. Making sectionals will not guarantee a state spot and missing sectionals does not mean a team did not make state because some sectionals are stronger than others.
The girls of Mountain View (21-5, 15-2) met Sabino (18-9, 11-5) in a game between teams of different divisions fighting for better playoff spots.
Mountain View has qualified for Division I/Section II sectionals but they are out of the top eight for the whole division. The top 16 teams in each division will host a playoff game but the top eight will get a first-round bye. Make sense?
So, beating Sabino 53-30 at home on Friday night was the first step in getting back into the top eight. If they do well at sectionals then they can move up in the seedings. Tucson High beat Mountain View on Tuesday night so that may have cost them the bye.
Sabino should make sectionals since the last three teams of Division II/Section III lost on Friday night. The Sabercats are on the edge for the state playoffs so more wins at sectionals can only help them secure a spot.
Sabino traveled to Mountain View Friday night without the services of senior Alexa Arndt and her 10.3 points a game due to an illness that has kept her out of action over their last two games. The Sabercats lost to Salpointe on Thursday night 47-42 before falling to Mountain View.
Arndt had been averaging 16.5 points over their last eight games, including 28 points against Santa Rita, but you play with what you have and Sabino coach Al Addleman knew it was going to be a difficult game against Mountain View.
“Mountain View shot well from outside and then they used their size after they extended our defense and went inside,” explained Addleman. “We knew we had to have all of our parts to give them a game like we wanted to. There’s a reason why they are one of the best teams in their division.”
Junior guard CC Erwin came up with one of her best games of the year and led Sabino with 14 points but no other player scored in double figures for the Sabercats. Erwin hit a 3-pointer as the clock was running down to pull Sabino to within 6-4 after the first quarter but Mountain View slowly pulled away thanks to 9 points from senior Lauren Reece to go up 21-9 with 52.3 seconds left in the half.
Erwin hit another 3-pointer with 2.1 seconds left to make it 21-12. Erwin came out and scored a couple of buckets in the third quarter to make it 23-16 Mountain View with 5:23 left but that was as close as the team would get the rest of the way.
“CC has done a good job of controlling our tempo,” said Addleman. “She kept us in the game and we were in it for three periods.”
Senior guard Melody McLaughlin had some early foul trouble so she was held in check for a while but senior forward Jessica Salaz scored six of her game-high 15 points in the third quarter to help Mountain View keep Sabino at bay.
Erwin hit another shot as the clock was running down and Sabino pulled to with 34-23 entering the fourth quarter but Mountain View went on a 19-7 run in the final period with McLaughlin scoring 6 of her 12 points in the stretch.
“Melody has worked really hard for us since she was a freshman and is our leader out there,” said Mountain View coach Niki Melchiori. “I am really going to miss her intensity.”
Melchiori and her Mountain Lions missed the state playoffs last year due to an error in the old power point system but she felt it shouldn’t have mattered if her team would have just taken care of business.
“We have worked to take the program back to this level,” she added. “We were frustrated with what happened last year but the girls deserve this.”
Melchiori played basketball at Mountain View before moving on to Eastern Arizona and Western State College of Colorado so she knows a bit about where the program has been and where it is going.
The Mountain Lions have made the state playoffs four times in the last ten years but have failed to get past the first round. Their fifth trip should be their best.
McLaughlin was offered a scholarship to play at Pima and Aztec head coach Todd Holthaus and his assistants Stephanie Kidder and Chris Klassen came to watch their recruit play.
McLaughlin had requested a Pima t-shirt from Holthaus but he told her she would have to pay for it so it wouldn’t be considered a gift because she had not committed yet.
McLaughlin had taken a dollar bill and wrote, “I WANT TO BE AN AZTEC” on it as her way of accepting his offer so, when she went into the stands after the game, she handed him the dollar and he gave her the shirt…done deal.
GIRLS DIVISION I/SECTION II
Tuesday, February 5: Gilbert or Mesa
GIRLS DIVISION II/SECTION I
Tuesday, February 5: Amphi or CDO
GIRLS DIVISION III/SECTION II
Tuesday, February 5: Cholla or Pueblo
GIRLS DIVISION IV/SECTION II
Tuesday, February 5: Cienega or Empire
BOYS DIVISION I/SECTION II
Wednesday, February 6: Mesa or Gilbert
BOYS DIVISION II/SECTION II
Wednesday, February 6: Amphi or CDO
BOYS DIVISION III/SECTION II
Wednesday, February 6: Cholla or Pueblo
BOYS DIVISION IV/SECTION II
Wednesday, February 6: Cienega or Empire