Dastrup, Denham lead Mountain View into quarterfinals - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

Dastrup, Denham lead Mountain View into quarterfinals

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Posted: Saturday, February 22, 2014 9:41 pm | Updated: 11:02 pm, Sat Feb 22, 2014.

Corona del Sol might want to get its hands on this game film.

If so, the No. 1-seeded Aztecs will see their next Division I boys basketball state tournament opponent, No. 9 Mountain View, nearly at its offensive best.

The Tories did nearly everything right and seized control of No. 8 Highland's gym for good to begin the third quarter of the Toros' 86-68 win and advance to the quarterfinals on Thursday night at 7:45 p.m. at Arizona State.

As is usually the case, Payton Dastrup got the Toros going from the opening tip with 10 of his 24 points in the first quarter to go with four blocked shots in the opening stanza and a 30-24 lead at halftime.

The rest of the Toros, however, proved pivotal, a supporting cast of Austin Denham, Andy Sessions, Josh Bribiescas and Luke Shill led Mountain View (21-6) out of the halftime break swiftly and soundly.

Bribiescas scored eight of his 14 points in the third quarter, and Denham nailed a couple 3-pointers in between a thunderous, one-handed dunk along the baseline as Mountain View exploded for 22 points in the third quarter and took a double-digit lead into the fourth.

"Our kids were ready to play," Mountain View coach Gary Ernst said.

It became a back-and-forth free throw contest, which is where Denham, Sessions and Shill excelled. 

Mountain View made 20 of 23 in the fourth quarter to offset a mini-Highland comeback attempt.

Denham (25 points), Sessions (15) and Bribiescas (14) rebounded from a rough first-round shooting night in the first round against Ironwood, and showed the Toros' potential to help Dastrup, something Mountain View often lacked last season.

"(Dastrup) opens up so much more for us outside and in driving lanes," Denham said. "He makes it so much easier."

Highland (21-8) found its way after a slow start behind  Jake Toolson (who matched up often with Dastrup inside but the duo will eventually be teammates at BYU).

Dastrup, however, only missed two shots in the half as his full repertoire was on display inside and hitting outside shots. He had 17 points by halftime.

Toolson brought Highland back late as the Hawks cut a 20-plus deficit down to 10 twice, but Mountain View made 20 of 23 free throws in the fourth quarter.

Toolson scored 43 points on the night, including 25 and 13 of 14 free throws in the fourth quarter alone. The senior surpassed 2,000 career points and was arguably the best basketball player to go through Highland's halls.

But it also meant the rest of Highland scored a combined 25 points, as the Hawks struggled to hit outside shots and relieve some of the offensive pressure from their standout forward.

The Hawks were also outwardly displeased with the officiating, but the "beef" with the refs was still a far cry from the bigger battles the program fought the past four years to become a playoff program again since Derrick Donaldson took over.

"Jake is going to do great things, he has the drive to do great things, and he'll excel," he said. "That's the kind of character we're about. If nothing else, they're going to be good men and grow up.

"It's been a great season from where we were."

Mountain View lost to Corona del Sol by eight points on New Year's Eve in the VisitMesa.com tournament, and while the Aztecs have Cassius Peat, Connor MacDougall and Dane Kuiper inside defensively and a top-notch offense, Mountain View just showed much of the same. 

"We'd like this outcome to be a little different, so that's what we're planning on," Denham said of facing the Aztecs. "We're not backing down."

No. 9 Mountain View 86, No. 8 Highland 68

MV       15    15    22   34   --  86

High     15     9      9   35   --  68

MV:  Austin Denham 25, Andy Sessions 15, Josh Bribiescas 14, Luke Shill 6, Payton Dastrup 24, Trevin Crider 2

Highland:  Jake Toolson 43, Chip White 8, Cole McEuen 7, Austin Witherill 6, Jake Brown 4

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[Stats Courtesy of MaxPreps]