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Prep Boys Basketball: Clutch shots lift Wildcats
MOUNTAIN VIEW CLINCHES DISTRICT’S TOP SEED
BY NATHAN WARTERS
THE FREE LANCE–STAR
THE FREE LANCE–STAR
Tyrus Mason knows he has the confidence of his Mountain View coaches and teammates.
They continued to pump him up throughout the first three quarters of Wednesday night’s home game against North Stafford, even as he continued to miss shots.
Mason was held scoreless for the first 24 minutes, but he scored nine of his team’s 13 fourth-quarter points to lead the Wildcats to a 37–36 Commonwealth District-clinching victory over the Wolverines.
Mason’s clutch 3-pointer with 28 seconds remaining sealed the victory for Mountain View (18–2, 13–0), which wrapped up the district’s regular-season crown with its 16th straight victory.
“I was shooting straight on all game. I was just long and short. Eventually I got dialed in and made it,” Mason said.
Xavier Fisher scored eight points off the bench for the Wildcats, but his biggest contribution came in the closing seconds.
Fisher contested North Stafford’s inbound pass with 9.3 seconds left, knocking it into the backcourt to milk precious time off the clock.
The Wolverines retained possession, but Fisher ran down the ball and stole it away with a few ticks remaining.
“That was huge,” Mountain View guard Lucas Brown said. “They didn’t even get a shot.”
North Stafford was left wondering how it let a four-point lead go with less than one minute remaining.
“We dug hard and played our tails off,” Wolverines senior captain Brandon Ravenel said. “At the end, we just didn’t quite have it.”
Brown scored his only points of the game on a layup with 52 seconds left to cut the Wolverines’ lead to 36–34.
North Stafford missed the front end of a one-and-one on the other end.
Mason connected on his game-winning 3 from the right wing a short time later.
It was his second 3-pointer in a three-minute span.
“He’s a really good shooter, and you’re going to have nights like that when you’re not making anything, but he made them in the end when it counted,” Wildcats coach Kevin Brown said.
Mountain View and North Stafford are used to playing low-scoring games dominated by defense, but points were at a bigger premium in their most recent meeting.
Brown, Mountain View’s coach, elected to hold the ball for more than five minutes in the third quarter in an effort to shorten the game.
Lucas Brown, the coach’s son, held the ball close to the scorer’s table near midcourt in an effort to extend North Stafford’s defense.
He remained unchallenged, and with no shot clock in high school basketball, the game clock ticked away.
North Stafford came out energized in the fourth quarter. Usie Miller hit two big buckets—a game-tying layup and a go-ahead putback with 5:15 remaining.
The Wolverines appeared on their way to a comeback victory before Mountain View pulled away at the end.
“I’m not trying to sound cocky, but I think we have the best team out here,” Ravenel said. “We just need to start playing like it.”
N. Stafford 9 9 4 14 — 36
M. View 12 10 2 13 — 37
North Stafford (14-4, 11-3): Usie Miller 12, Brandon Ravenel 0, Kain Rush 3, Anthony Shegog 2, Even Skjellaug 0, Jordan Thompson 5, Justin Tuckson 6, Lyndon White 8. Totals: 16 1-3 36
Mountain View (18-2, 13-0): Lucas Brown 2, Xavier Fisher 8, Ben Keller 4, Dustin Maghan 0, Tyrus Mason 9, Tyrell Mason 10, Joe Wilson 4. Totals: 16 3-4 37
Three-point goals: North Stafford 3 (K. Rush, J. Thompson, L. White). Mountain View 2 (T. Mason 2).
Nathan Warters: 540/374-5442