Phoenix Shadow Mountain boys basketball coach Mike Bibby still believes last year’s team was better. But what his Matadors did Tuesday night was something none of his past three teams did, and two of those won state championships.
They had 97 points by the end of three quarters and finished with 37 steals in a 114-48 rout of visiting Phoenix Thunderbird.
“They executed well, have talent, and played very hard,” Thunderbird coach Buddy Rake said in an email.
The Arizona Interscholastic Association’s archives don’t have a category for steals, so it is not known what the state record is for steals in a game.
Still, it’s an impressive start to the new year for a team that features two sophomores among its best players and is ranked No. 15 nationally by USA TODAY.
Shadow Mountain, azcentral sports’ No. 1 Super 10 team, which has now won 41 consecutive games against in-state teams, improved to 17-0 after its first game in more than a week.
Shadow Mountain jumped out to a 32-8 first-quarter lead, then outscored the Chiefs 37-13 in the second quarter. A quick halftime break, and they came back for more, outscoring Thunderbird 28-11 in the third quarter.
The Matadors made 13 of 28 3-pointers and had three players with more than 20 points – Marcus Shaver (28), Javon Blacksher (22) and Jaelen House (21). House made 7 of 12 3-pointers. Blacksher had 11 steals. House and Blacksher are both sophomores.
Nate Hollins (15) and Jordan Pace (10) also scored in double figures. Hollins added six steals. Both House and Shaver had five steals.