It would be an exciting rematch for host Desert Mountain High School (16-5) and visiting Notre Dame Prep (20-3) on Wednesday evening in front of a nice crowd. In the previous contest between these two teams earlier in the season, Desert Mountain pulled out a narrow overtime victory (83-81). This contest would serve to be a much different outcome for Notre Dame Prep, as they would come into the contest looking for a much different result, as winners of their last (8) games and playing their best basketball of the season. In the previous matchup, Notre Dame Prep was without the services of 6-foot, 160-pound junior guard Brennan Peterson due to injury. Peterson is now back and healthy, and he would make a major difference in this game for Notre Dame Prep.
Desert Mountain however lost the services of 6-foot-8 junior post Jaylon Johnson at semester to a transfer, as Johnson decided to leave Desert Mountain for a local prep program. The omission of Johnson inside the paint has left a big void in the paint for Desert Mountain this season, which really helped this team go to another level early in the season. Without Johnson, Desert Mountain would look to play much faster as a team and collectively rebound to make up for the loss on the glass, left by the departure of Johnson.
The game would be intense and played very fast, as both teams would consistently apply pressure on the opposing team's defense in the game's first half. After a steal and a dunk by terrific 6-foot-4 senior Anthony Batson (Rice University signee), Notre Dame Prep would take an 8-6 lead in the contest, before a nice three-point play from high-scoring 6-foot-4 sophomore Kaden House would give Desert Mountain back the lead.
The game continued at a high pace throughout the first period until a nice three-pointer in the secondary break by Brennan Peterson, then a layup from 6-foot-4 junior wing Will Feagles in transition on an assist from Peterson. After another driving layup from Quinet in transition, Notre Dame would take a 17-11 advantage with 2:16 left to play in the first period. Then Peterson would collect a loose ball and score a layup in transition to put his team ahead 19-11 late in the first. Desert Mountain would finish out the quarter on a 7-3 run, and Notre Dame Prep would lead 22-18 after one.
The second period would belong to Notre Dame Prep, as Peterson would almost immediately hit another three-pointer to start the period. A steal by Anthony Batson and a 3-point play by him after being fouled, would push Notre Dame Prep ahead 33-26 with 5:44 left to play in the half. With 2:56 remaining, Peterson would knock down another three-pointer, before another long-range three-pointer from talented 6-foot-3 junior guard Bryce Quinet. Notre Dame Prep would jump out to a 48-37 halftime lead, their biggest lead of the contest.
After halftime, Desert Mountain would come back out focused and ready to compete hard, but Notre Dame Prep would continue to keep the pedal on the gas, while showing poise in their effort. The third period would start in the same fashion as the second period, with another three-pointer from Brennan Peterson. After another long range three-pointer also from Bryce Quinet also, Peterson would score on a driving layup in the paint, and then knock down another three-pointer of his own to put Notre Dame Prep up big, 59-41, with 5:50 left to play in the third.
Late in the period, Peterson and Anthony Batson would both go to the bench with four fouls. With both top performers on the bench, Desert Mountain would turn on their full court press - going on a 12-2 run behind two three-point plays from studs Kaden House and 6-foot-3 sophomore Kalek House. Notre Dame Prep would hold on to a 74-61 lead heading into the fourth period.
Desert Mountain would look to make one more final run in the game in the fourth period. After a steal by Kaden House and an assist up the floor to athletic 6-foot-4 freshman Javon Bardwell for a dunk, Desert Mountain would pull back to within (9) points of Notre Dame, 74-65. But Anthony Batson would knock down a big three-pointer from the wing to stop the run by Desert Mountain.
Kaden House would eventually foul out of the contest with 3:25 left to play, which would hurt Desert Mountain's chances of any serious comeback in the final minutes. After a moster two-handed dunk in traffic by Anthony Batson with just over a minute remaining, Notre Dame Prep would then cruise to the big 97-83 road victory.
Brennan Peterson would finish with a team-high 28 points, 7 assists and 3 steals in the game, which included (6) three-pointers. Notre Dame's Bryce Quinet would finish with 20 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists, while 6-foot sophomore guard Brody Postorino would contribute 18 points and 5 rebounds in the win. Kalek House would pour in a game-high 30 points, 5 rebounds and 7 assists, while Kaden House would finish with 20 points, 9 rebounds and 3 assists in the loss.
"After this win, we've got so much confidence going into every single game," said Peterson after the game. "I think we have a very good chance of taking it."