The last time these two rivals met, it resulted in a big victory for Desert Vista (14-9) at home. This time around, on the campus of Mountain Pointe High School, the Pride would get revenge on their rival in a 84-62 blowout win at home. Led by the play of 5-foot-10 unsigned senior guard Khalid Price (pictured) in the third period, Mountain Pointe (19-6) would blow the game open in route to a big win.
The rivalry between Mountain Pointe and Desert Vista is definitely one of the best rivalries in the state, regardless of class or division, and has been for many years. After the big upset victory by Desert Vista earlier this month, the rivalry got even better as Mountain Pointe looked to get revenge on their Ahwatukee rival on Tuesday evening. This time though, Mountain Pointe would have to do it without the services of 6-foot-9 star senior post Jalen Graham (Arizona State commit), who would sit out the contest. Graham has missed the past several games for The Pride due to personal reasons, but will return to action this Friday.
Mountain Pointe entered Tuesday evening's contest as winners of their last (5) games since their loss to Desert Vista, and even without the services of Graham, the team's defensive intensity and ability to make plays was still at a high level. Led by the backcourt play of Price, 6-foot-4 senior guard J'Saan Strover and talented sophomore guard Jason Kimbrough, The Pride are a difficult team to match up with. Especially for a young but talented Desert Vista team whose best years are still ahead of them. But The Thunder came into the game riding high on confidence, after their last victory over Mountain Pointe and also winning 7 of their last 8 contests.
Desert Vista 6-foot-2 freshman guard Andrew King is a major bright spot for the future of Head Coach Gino Crump's program, and he would get off to a great start for his team - knocking down shots and looking very confident. 6-foot-2 senior guard Isaiah Wilson and 6-foot-9 junior post Osasere Ighodaro would help keep Desert Vista in the contest in the first period, but the combination of Strover and Price would keep Mountain Pointe ahead in the quarter. A three-pointer by freshman King at the buzzer would keep Desert Vista within striking distance of Mountain Pointe, 15-11, after one period.
In the second period, Mountain Pointe Head Coach Kirk Fauske would insert 6-foot-3 junior guard Miles Sulka into the lineup, and he would pay dividends immediately. After a floater by Sulka, Mountain Pointe would jump out to a 25-18 lead with 4:54 left in the period, after a three-pointer from Sulka.
After a 3-pointer with 2 minutes left to play in the half by Price, Strover would convert a 30-foot three-pointer as the halftime buzzer would sound, with a defender draped all over him - giving Mountain Pointe a 33-23 halftime lead.
The third period would tell the story for the game, as the period would belong to unsigned senior guard Khalid Price. Price is one of the better unsigned guard prospects still available in the state, and he would prove it big time in the third period, as he would take the game over. After a three-pointer by Price late in the period, then a layup in transition by Price and then another three-pointer in transition by the gifted guard, and Mountain Pointe would jump out to a big lead over DV. Another three-pointer at the buzzer by 5-foot-10 junior guard TJ Tigler, and Mountain Pointe would outscore Desert Vista 23 to 10 in the quarter for a 56-33 lead.
Mountain Pointe would not look back from there, as they would soon empty their bench in the fourth in route to a nice 84-62 victory. Mountain Pointe will now move on to face Desert Ridge HS (2/1) on the road, and then finish out the regular season with a home game against Corona del Sol HS (2/5).
Scouting Notes: Mountain Pointe unsigned senior guards Khalid Price and J'Saan Strover are among the most gifted available guard 2019 prospects still available this spring.
Price is a talented point guard prospect that has been a leader for The Pride for the past two seasons, and has played at a high level consistently throughout his varsity career. He is a floor general point guard with a strong handle of the basketball and a nice shooting stroke that makes him difficult to defend. He is quick off the dribble and can get into the lane almost at will, where he is able to make plays for himself and others. He is at his best as an on-the-ball defender that possesses quick hands and feet laterally, and is able to play passing lanes. He is a leader on the floor and will be able to help a college program immediately as a pure point guard.
Strover missed last season due to AIA transfer rules, while at Desert Vista HS. This season, while now playing for Mountain Pointe, he was inserted immediately into The Pride's starting lineup and picked right up where he left off as a sophomore starter for Higley HS, where he averaged better than 20+ points. Strover is an excellent defensive guard with nice length of body and very good athleticism. He has improved his jump shot a great deal over the past two years, and has added serious range as well. He is at his best when driving to the basket and finishing at the rim, or in the lane with a variety of floaters and a pull-up jump shot. An active rebounder from the guard position. Strover is at his best in the open floor where he is a good finisher. A nice sleeper prospect for a smaller college program . . .
Desert Vista's talented and developing 6-foot-9 junior post Osasere Ighodaro made the biggest jump in my recent Player Rankings (Arizona Hoop Review Scouting Report) for the 2020 Class. Ighodaro is a long and skilled post prospect with tremendous upside as a player, and an ability to block and change/alter shots consistently. He has a good overall skill level, able to score with either hand around the basket, and is also able to step outside and shoot the basketball with range. He runs the floor hard and is also a capable ball handler for his size. A solid finisher that will get much better over time with maturity and better physical strength. He has a nice future ahead of him as he grows physically and continues to mature a great deal over time. Ighodaro recently received an offer from Grand Canyon University. He also has offers on the table from San Jose State, San Diego, UC-Riverside, Southern Utah, Northern Arizona, Montana and UC-San Diego.