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Girls Basketball: Mountain View prevails over Riverbend in defensive gem
BY ADAM HIMMELSBACH
Before each game, Mountain View girls basketball coach Ben Sargent walks over to a dry-erase board and scribbles “10” with a marker.
Sargent tells his players that if they can keep their opponent from eclipsing that number each quarter, they will have an excellent chance of winning.
He knows they might not be as offensively gifted as previous Mountain View teams, but he also knows they are dedicated to defense.
“If we’re keeping the game in the 30s and 40s,” Sargent said, “we’re a better team.”
Last night, Sargent was pleased that Riverbend’s point total looked like a winter temperature, and he was pleased the Wildcats closed their 36–33 win with a timely defensive play.
With 9.2 seconds remaining, Riverbend had possession beneath its own basket, trailing 34–33.
The inbounds pass was lobbed past the top of the key, and Mountain View’s Laqueta Hairston closed on it quickly.
She had four fouls, though, so she knew she couldn’t close too quickly.
“My parents always tell me to hustle all the time,” Hairston said. “It came down to the last few seconds, and after I caught the ball, my first thought was to run.”
Hairston was fouled with 5.4 seconds left. Twenty-five seconds earlier, she had missed the front end of a one-and-one.
This time, she was calmed by the fact that she was guaranteed two shots instead of one.
“After I made the first one,” Hairston said, “I knew I’d make the second.”
The second free throw gave Mountain View a 36–33 lead.
Riverbend had one last chance. The Bears dashed upcourt quickly, but they were unable to score as time expired.
Riverbend was held to just two field goals over the game’s final seven minutes.
“We just have to capitalize on our chances,” Bears coach Scott Thomas said. “We’ll learn though.”
Chelsea Keyser had 11 points to lead Mountain View, and Hairston added 10.
Brittany Stringer scored 12 points to pace Riverbend.
Mountain View figured this season would be filled with growing pains.
After all, the Wildcats lost seven seniors from last year’s team, including four starters.
But last night’s win improved their record to 8–2 overall and 5–1 in the Commonwealth District.
They have reached this point by keeping opponents off the scoreboard. (Riverbend scored just two points in the second quarter last night.)
And on offense, the Wildcats have thrived by maintaining a calm, deliberate pace.
They make no apologies for their step-by-step style.
“We’re definitely trying to slow things down,” Sargent said. “We just want to come out with a win.”
Riverbend 12 2 10 9 — 33
Moun. View 8 6 10 12 — 36
Riverbend: Candice Beverly 7, Carmen Beverly 1, Lainey Harmon 7, Brittany Stringer 12, Paige Phillips 5. Totals: 11 9–14 33.
Mountain View (8–2, 5–1): Chelsea Keyser 11, Mel Boothe 5, Laqueta Hairston 10, Taylor Fernow 4, Brenee Howell 4, Alexis Davis 2. Totals: 10 12–16 36.
Three-point goals: Riverbend 2 (Harmon, Stringer), Stafford 4 (Keyser 3, Hairston).
Adam Himmelsbach: 540/374-5442