On Tuesday, December 4th I went to watch the Desert Mountain Wolves versus the Mesa Mountain View Toros. Both teams were ranked in the top 10 in preseason.
Desert Mountain's 6-foot-6 junior post Mark Andrews was rewarded the job of starting on Mountain View's star 6-foot-10 junior post Payton Dastrup, and Payton immediately scored a tip-in for a quick 2-0 lead.
Desert Mountain would then score 15-straight points for an impressive 15-2 lead with 2 minutes left in the quarter.
Finally Mountain View starting hitting some shots - cutting it to a 17 to 9 first quarter lead for DM.
In the second period, Payton Dastrup started to heat up and hit 2 3-pointers, while 6-foot-4 senior forward Brian Butler hit a 3-ball of his own to cut the lead down to 6. That was the closet the Toros would get for the rest of the game.
Two quick 3-pointers by 6-foot-4 junior guard Remy Smith would bring the DM lead back up to 11-points, 30-19, with 2 minutes left in the first half.
Payton Dastrup made a few more plays inside the paint to cut the lead down to 32 to 24 at the half, in Desert Mountain's favor. Dastrup had a game-high 15 points at the half, while Desert Mountain's 5-foot-10 junior point guard Rolando Rhymes was making plays all over the court - putting his team in the right position to succeed.
It was a slow going in the 3rd quarter, but Remy Smith hit another 3-ball to give the Wolves a big 41 to 26 lead. The quickness of DM was just too much for Mountain View in this game. Not a pretty quarter for either team though as DM outscored Mountain View 9 to 2 in the period.
The 4th quarter started and 6 quick points by Mountain View would cut the lead to 32 to 46. Rhymes felt the momentum switching and took it upon himself to get into the lane - getting fouled and coverting 2 free-throws, followed by a steal and an assist to Brant Cater to go back up big - 50 to 32.
The action in this game seemed like Desert Mountain was upset by the recent loss they had at the hands of Chaparral HS, as they looked to be taking it out on Mountain View. Desert Mountain would cruise to an impressive 59 to 37 victory.
It was a fairly balanced attack for Desert Mountain, as Remy Smith started for 6-foot-5 senior forward Diego Magana (out with a deep thigh bruise) and scored 12 points, with Brant Carter scoring 14 points and Rolando Rhymes finishing with 9 points, 7 assists and 4 steals - controlling the entire game with his speed and natural quickness on the court.
Payton Dastrup finished with a team-high 17 points and 12 rebounds, and no other player on Mountain View had more then 5 points in a disappointing game by MV. If the guards of MV don’t improve fast, Mountain View not only will fall out of all the rankings, but also might find themselves out of the playoffs.
Quick Hitters: After watching the JV and freshman games now on 2 different occassions, it is apparent to me that both of these two schools will be fine in the future. Both their freshman teams are two of the better teams I have seen so far this year. When they played each other, they didn’t disappoint as the freshman game went into OT with an 80 to 72 win by Mountain View.
Some of the future stars for DM freshman were 5-foot-10 SG George Lee, who had 23 points, and 5-foot-10 SG Jordan Phelps-Castro, who had 19 points, plus 2 key 3-pointers in the last minute to send the game into OT.
Other DM players that showed potential were 6-foot-5 PF Jon Stevens, 6-foot PG Adam Rees and 5-foot-6 PG Kamen Walls. Kamen Walls is Rolando Rhymes' cousin.
Some of the stars for Mountain View were 6-foot-3 PF Zane Jowaiszas, 6-foot SG Jayton Brown, 6-foot-3 PF Tava Ta’ase and 6-foot-1 PG Greyson Rogers.