Last season's 5A Division II girls basketball champion was no match Thursday night for a team in the mix at becoming the 5A Division I champion this season.
Mesa Mountain View dominated visiting Phoenix South Mountain pretty much from the start and sprinted to an easy 64-33 nonregion victory at Mountain View High School.
Junior Lia Kioa gave fourth-ranked Mountain View the energy it needed to break away late in the first period as she scored six points in 30-second span. Kioa ended up with 10 point in the opening period, 16 by halftime and totaled a game-high 23.
"Lia was sharp tonight," Mountain View coach Henry Bribiescas said. "She's very athletic out there in the open court. I think she was 8-for-9 shooting the first half. Most of them were layups."
Nothing Kioa scored in the first half was longer than five feet as the Toros dominated in transition. They were tied 2-2 almost four minutes into the game as neither team shot well. But by quarter's end Mountain View (12-2) had established a 20-6 lead. They finished the first period making 10-of-16 shots from the field.
South (7-3) didn't help itself in the early going when Mountain View was struggling to gain control. The Jaguars had several open shots in the first period both inside and outside, but only connected on 2-of-18 attempts.
Mountain View, which has relied on playing nine or 10 players much of the season, used that rotation again and it had an effect on the Jaguars, who suit up just nine players.
"We've been doing that all year and it works well for us," Bribiescas said. "It gives our starters some rest and allows them to be fresh in the fourth quarter. We have some quickness and experience this year. No freshmen or sophomores. We can't use inexperience as an excuse."
Brittany Conger was the only other Mountain View player scoring 10 points. All came in the second half. Ten Toros scored in the contest.
Mountain View returns to action tonight visiting Avondale Westview.