When he’s hot, Scottsdale Horizon’s Nick Streff is hot. After missing Thursday’s opening-round game of the Horizon Invitational boys basketball tournament with a 103-degree temperature, Streff came back to lead the Huskies to the title Saturday with an 83-75 victory over Glendale Deer Valley.
When he’s hot, Scottsdale Horizon’s Nick Streff is hot.
After missing Thursday’s opening-round game of the Horizon Invitational boys basketball tournament with a 103-degree temperature, Streff came back to lead the Huskies to the title Saturday with an 83-75 victory over Glendale Deer Valley.
The senior forward scored 30 points and had 21 rebounds and was named tourney MVP although he played in just two games.
“He’s got a motor that doesn’t quit,” Horizon coach Paul Long said. “It’s all heart and he’s been doing that all year.’’
In Friday’s semifinal, Streff had 19 points and 17 rebounds in a victory over Scottsdale Chaparral.
And it’s not as if he has a huge height advantage over his opponents. Streff is generously listed at 6-foot-2.
“I just work harder than most people,” Streff said. “I just try to be more physical. I like the challenge of playing bigger guys.”
Horizon (8-2) never trailed Saturday, but the final two minutes had Long sweating a little. Especially when Deer Valley’s Jimmy Goad nailed a 3-pointer to get the Skyhawks (6-7) to within four at 77-73 with 1:40 left.
“I was nervous as heck and I don’t normally get nervous,” Long said.
What made things even more interesting was that Horizon had lost senior Eric McGaffin to fouls early in the fourth quarter. He finished with 17 points.
Brad Matney put Horizon up 79-73 with his only basket of the game with 1:21 left, but Mirza Sabic countered with another Deer Valley basket to put the Skyhawks within four again.
Horizon closed out the Skyhawks in the final minute with two free throws and a Streff field goal.
The Huskies led 18-13 after the first quarter and 37-28 at halftime.
Deer Valley’s Marcus Ruppel then got going in the third quarter, scoring 13 of his 23 points in the period.
He followed with the first four points of the fourth quarter but then disappeared from the Skyhawks offense, going scoreless the rest of the way.
Freshman Stephen Topercer countered Ruppel’s efforts in the third by nailing three 3-pointers. He finished with 15 points.