Mountain View boys repeat as state champions - East Valley Tribune: Sports

Mountain View boys repeat as state champions

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Posted: Wednesday, March 8, 2006 11:23 pm | Updated: 2:28 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Mountain View senior Stephen Rogers and juniors Harper Kamp and Kendall Wallace were going to be hard-pressed Wednesday to improve on their winning championship game performance of last year.

They did it anyway. That meant bad news for Corona del Sol in its bid to unseat Mountain View as state champs as the Toros trio combined for 58 points in a convincing 80-50 win over the Aztecs in the 5A Division I boys title game at Glendale Arena.

Mountain View (29-3), using its trademark defense and some outstanding marksmanship throughout the game, made an exceptional Corona squad look ordinary in taking home back-to-back crowns. Rogers poured in a game-high 26 points, Wallace added 22 points and Kamp had 10 in eclipsing the 54 points they totaled in their 2005 triumph over St. Mary’s.

The Toros had been a good shooting team all season, as had Corona (28-2). But Wednesday the Toros were markedly better, connecting on 60 percent of their field goals (21-for-35) the first three periods in fashioning a 53-37 advantage. Over the same stretch Corona made 13-for-39 (33 percent). For good measure in the final period the Toros were 7-for-7 from the floor to finish the evening 28-for-42 (67 percent) from the field.

‘‘They shot the ball so well and I didn’t think our defense was that bad,’’ Corona del Sol coach Sam Duane Jr. said. ‘‘If we made a run, they made one and then one on top that. They had a great game.’’

What made the night gratifying for Toros coach Gary Ernst, who won a sixth 5A state title (fifth at Mountain View), was his squad’s tenacity. It left no chance for a tight finish like they faced in the semifinals against Desert Vista a week ago.

The Toros built a 15-point lead in the first half and had it trimmed to 36-27 at halftime. But there were no Corona runs to be made after intermission.

‘‘That’s been one of our problems lately is letting leads slip away,’’ Ernst said. “I got worried a little when Kendall got his fourth foul early in the fourth quarter. But even while he was out we kept building the lead.’’

Rogers, who scored 20 of his 26 points in the second half, harped on defense rather than offense as the deciding factor.

‘‘We’re a defensive team,’’ Rogers said. ‘‘We’ve always worked on defense. Defense is the main thing we work on in practice. We knew it was defense that would win the game and it did.’’

Wallace got the Toros untracked early. He scored nine of his 22 points in the opening quarter, including a pair of 3s to help his team to a 19-12 lead. Wallace, Kamp and Rogers provided 16 of the Toros’ 17 points in the second period.

‘‘We played as hard as we could as a team, ’’ said Corona del Sol guard Demetrious Earl, who returned to action after missing last week’s semifinals with viral pneumonia. ‘‘So did they. Basically they outplayed us.

‘‘Only two teams get to this point. So when you make it there it says something about your team and your team’s character.’’

If not for Corona center Sean Imadiyi’s 10 first-half points, the Aztecs might not have been close enough to worry about rallying in the second half. Imadiyi finished with a team-high 18 points. Earl added 11 points and Phil Feinberg chipped in with 10 for the Aztecs.

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