No. 1 region seeds have fared well thus far in the 5A state boys basketball tournament, but at least two of the six remaining will fall tonight.
Two of those No. 1s — Central champ Desert Vista and East Valley Region kingpin Mountain View — will meet, highlighting an impressive quarterfinal round of action which has East Valley teams in each game.
Mountain View and Desert Vista sport 26-4 records heading to their 7 p.m. showdown tonight at Hamilton High School. To illustrate the magnitude of the game, the neutral site was changed from Mountain Pointe to Hamilton Friday morning to accommodate an even bigger crowd than the Pride’s gym could handle.
‘‘They are a perennial basketball powerhouse over there,’’ Desert Vista coach Al Merino said of the Toros. ‘‘They are strong, athletic and well-coached. We’ll have our hands full.’’
Desert Vista has won two tournament games, so far dispatching Tucson Amphitheater on Tuesday and avenging an earlier loss to Tucson Salpointe Thursday night. Mountain View put the clamps on Paradise Valley Thursday, limiting the Trojans to a tournament-low 32 points.
‘‘I’m impressed with their defense and shooting ability,’’ Merino said. ‘‘And you have to be impressed by their tenacity.’’
Mountain View derives the bulk of its scoring from guards Dallas Rensch and Yahosh Bonner. Rensch, Bonner and sixth man Brian Scurr lead the Toros in scoring. Rensch had 20 Thursday.
‘‘We haven't faced too many teams that are big or of the caliber big Desert Vista is,’’ Mountain View coach Gary Ernst said. ‘‘They go to the boards hard and don't give anything away. It should be a great battle.’’
Big for Desert Vista are forwards Xavier Kilby and Travis Gabbidon, both 6-foot-7. Kilby has scored in double figures in both of the Thunder’s state games.
In tonight’s other quarterfinals, unranked Mesa (21-11) tries to further navigate the tournament’s toughest quadrant, taking on top-ranked and No. 1 Southwest Region seed Phoenix Trevor Browne (28-4) at Phoenix Alhambra High School. Mesa has knocked off No. 7 Hamilton and No. 5 Phoenix Brophy. Mesa is one of only four teams to beat Trevor Browne this year, hanging an 81-77 loss on the Bruins in mid-December. The Bruins are led by intimidating center Ty Morrison and guard Daren Jordan.
Mesa, which got a huge game Thursday from guard Jared Westergard (21 points), got 28 points from Westergard in the prior meeting with the Bruins.
Another regular-season rematch pits Fiesta Region No. 1 seed and unranked Highland (17-11) against Northwest Region No. 1 seed and unranked Glendale Mountain Ridge at Gilbert High. Highland ripped Mountain Ridge, winner of seven straight and 10 of its last 11, 57-43, in December. Mountain Ridge’s leading scorer Travis Peterson was limited to seven points in that game. In his last five, Peterson is averaging 26.6 points a game. Ryan McCurdy was Highland’s gun Thursday, with 18 points, nine rebounds and seven blocks as the Hawks eliminated Phoenix Shadow Mountain.
Fourth-ranked Gilbert (28-3), the Fiesta Region’s No. 2 seed, heads to Phoenix to battle Camelback, unranked and the No. 1 seed from the Metro Region, at South Mountain High. The erratic Spartans go as all-around athlete Thomas Huff goes. Huff is averaging 19 points a game in three postseason games.
Gilbert’s calling card is defense. The Tigers have limited their two state tourney opponents to 35 points.