Glendale, AZ - Tonight's match up displayed the talented Deer Valley Skyhawks, ranked third in the state. The Skyhawks were up against an equally talented, but rather disappointing and unranked Desert Vista Thunder. A crowded gymnasium was raucous and ready to watch this premier 5A basketball showdown.
Deer Valley has a general equation that equals tallies in the win column. That equation is "Polk+Brooks+Hill=Win." Tonight, that equation would be short, missing two major components. There was a 1:38 drought before Deer Valley's Lawrence Hill put up the first two point of the game. The smaller Skyhawks looked to be ready for the more physical play of the Thunder, but no one expected both Christian Polk and Jeremy Brooks, two key parts of that winning equation, to pick up three fouls each in the first quarter. Desert Vista took advantage and jumped into the driver's seat. Xavier Kilby had nine first quarter points to lead the Thunder to a 13-8 advantage after one.
With Polk and Brooks in foul trouble, it became Lawrence Hill against the world. Hill drew foul after foul and was sent to the line eight times in the second quarter. Free throws were the Skyhawks redeeming quality; Hill hit all eight from the line. Chris Gray took over for the Thunder, leading the charge with 13 points in the second quarter. Desert Vista pulled away as Christian Polk and Jeremy Brooks saw 50 -seconds of playing time in the second quarter. Desert Vista's Johnny Pinto picked up a technical foul, for reasons unknown. The Thunder would receive three more before the game was over. After two quarters of play, Desert Vista led 28-20.
Dismal shooting plagued the Skyhawks throughout the remainder of the ballgame and Lawrence Hill was held to two points in the third. Brooks and Polk re-entered the game, but had to play conservatively due to their foul trouble. Desert Vista received two more technical fouls in the third. Coach Doug Harris was hit with one and Xavier Kilby got one. Deer Valley outscored Desert Vista, 9-8, in the lowest scoring quarter of the game. Vista retained the lead after three quarter, 36-29.
No matter how hard the Skyhawks tried to close the Thunder's lead, they couldn't. For every Deer Valley basket, Desert Vista had a response at the other end. The closest the Skyhawks came was at the 2:49 mark of the fourth; they trailed 42-38 at that point, but could get no closer. Xavier Kilby put a figurative exclamation point on the lead with :59 seconds remaining in the game. Kilby stole to ball and threw down a one handed slam. He received his second technical promptly for celebrating and was ejected from the game. Kilby finished with 13 points and a substantial amount of rebounds. Lawrence Hill tried to close the gap, but it was too little, too late for the third-ranked Skyhawks. The Thunder prevailed tonight, winning 54-47. Foul trouble and dismal shooting plagued Deer Valley, they shot 28.3% from the field. Desert Vista shot 47.8%, including 30% from long range.
Desert Vista 13 15 8 18 54Deer Valley 8 12 9 18 47
Desert Vista - Chris Gray - 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting, 3-of-6 from long range.
Xavier Kilby - 13 points on 6-of-11 shooting, good amount of rebounds.
Travis Gabbidon - 12 points on 6-of-12 shooting, lots of boards, too.
Johnny Pinto - 7 points on 3-of-8 shooting.
Jullian Irving - 4 points on 1-of-2 shooting, 2-of-2 from the line.
Josh Jolin - 3 points on 1-of-2 shooting, 50% from the line.
Chris Martinez - 0 points on 0-of-1 shooting.
Desert Vista - Field Goal % - 47.8% (22-of-46) - Free Throw % - 50% (7-of-14) - Three Point % - 30% (3-of-10)
Deer Valley - Lawrence Hill - 27 points on 7-of-17 shooting, lots of rebounds.
Steve Lacy - 5 points on 2-of-2 shooting, 1-of-1 from long range.
Christian Polk - 4 points on 2-of-13 shooting, foul trouble (3 fouls in first).
Eli Davis - 3 points on 1-of-7 shooting, 0-of-3 from long range.
Jeremy Brooks - 3 points on 1-of-6 shooting.
Merv Salonga - 3 points on 1-of-2 shooting, 1-of-1 from long range.
Richard Reeves - 2 points on 1-of-4 shooting.
Kyle Huetter - 0 points on 0-of-2 shooting.
Deer Valley - Field Gold % - 28.3% (15-of-53) -- Free Throw % - 76.4% (13-of-17) - Three Point % - 25% (4-of-16)