Red Mountain’s season ended Friday night in the 6A boys basketball quarterfinals, falling 66-53 on the road to Desert Vista.
Red Mountain senior Timmy Allen made a three for the first basket of the game, as he went on to combine with teammate, junior Andre Harris, for all 13 of the team’s points in the quarter. They led Desert Vista 13-10 at the end of the first quarter.
However, Desert Vista quickly countered Red Mountain’s strong first quarter by beginning the second quarter on a 12-2 run.
Allen was given a technical foul late in the second quarter after a made basket, as the gym began to buzz with excitement and the playoff tension became palpable.
“I said, ‘and-one’, and he T’d me up,” said Allen. “It is what it is.”
Desert Vista led 28-25 at halftime behind a fairly even scoring distribution from its starters, as Allen and Harris combined for 21 of Red Mountain’s 25 first half points.
Momentum swung Desert Vista’s way in the second half, in large part due to senior Christian Anigwe’s team-high 17 points.
Still, Red Mountain kept the game close, and broke even with Desert Vista for the quarter, to trail 39-36 entering the fourth quarter.
That is when Desert Vista pulled away.
“We were having problems with their high-low… They’re big, they’re strong, they’re quick. So, we tried to make some adjustments, just to see what would work,” Desert Vista head coach Gino Crump said.
Desert Vista applied added defensive pressure by pressing Red Mountain full-court in the fourth quarter.
“That’s what beat them the first time. We really pressed the ball. We didn’t really do it as much as we wanted to in the first half, but in the second half… and in the fourth quarter it was just press. That’s what did it. That’s what we’re good at,” Crump said.
Red Mountain struggled to break Desert Vista’s press, and ultimately lost the quarter 27-17, despite Allen and Harris each contributing a game-high 21 points each.
“We were in there a lot more than the first time we were here, but, that’s something to be proud of and something to build off for the next year of the program,” Allen said, following his final high school basketball game.
With the team’s season over, Red Mountain head coach Chris Lemon spoke highly of Allen in his final game, and is optimistic of the team’s future.
“He’s a big-time player, he’s going to do special things. He had a big-time performance tonight,” Lemon said. “We’re just going to keep getting better. We built a good foundation this year, and hitting the spring, hitting the summer, we’re not starting from scratch. I’m looking forward to our guys next year… we have a great core group coming back.”
Red Mountain will retain four of its five starters next year, when Harris, Kai Murphy, Quincy Reece, and Tristan Padbury all return next year for their senior seasons.
Allen will play for the University of Utah in the fall, and is looking forward to the challenge of playing Division I basketball in the Pac-12.
“A lot to work on until I get there. Once I get up there I’m going crazy in the gym, I’m going to work,” Allen said.
Red Mountain finished the regular season 18-9 overall, going 8-2 in its region, and the team will look to carry this season’s success into the next one.
“A lot to reflect on, a lot to be proud of as well, with our team just growing so much from the first game of the season to now,” Allen said. “They left on a great note. They have a great coaching staff and players to come in behind me. I think they’re going to be successful as always.”