Desert Mountain basketball gets past Mesa

Desert Mountain basketball gets past Mesa


Desert Mountain basketball gets past Mesa


Mesa, knowing the scouting report, sagged off a little on Scottsdale Desert Mountain point guard Rolando Rhymes.

Rhymes made Mesa pay with a couple of outside shots, including a 3-pointer. Then, when Mesa came out harder on him, he made Mesa pay inside, especially after 6-foot-10 Isaac Allen went to the Mesa bench midway through the second quarter.

Rhymes and power forward Mark Andrews gave a clinic on the two-man game, leading Desert Mountain past Mesa 64-51 Tuesday in the Division I boys basketball quarterfinal at Arizona State’s Wells Fargo Arena.

“I worked a lot on it before this game, shooting outside shots,” said Rhymes, who had 20 points. “I knew they were going to sag. That’s OK. I was ready.”

Fifth-seeded Desert Mountain (25-5) advances to Thursday’s 7:45p.m. semifinal against either top-seed Tempe Corona del Sol or No.8 Goodyear Millennium at Wells Fargo Arena.

When the teams met Jan.8 at Mesa, Rhymes scored 28 points in a 49-47 Desert Mountain win.

Tuesday, No.5-seed Mesa (25-6) missed its first seven shots before Allen scored on an offensive rebound.

Desert Mountain then went into a shooting rut, missing 11 consecutive shots and went from the 5:14 mark in the first quarter to the 4:01 mark in the second period before making a field goal.

But Mesa sophomore guard Jalen Jenkins, who had 25 points Saturday in a win over Mesa Dobson, picked up his third foul with 7:34 left in the second. Allen went to the bench and Andrews scored inside three times in a 1:35 span, giving Desert Mountain a 17-11 lead.

“That was kind of the turning point,” Desert Mountain coach Todd Fazio said.

Andrews had 24 points.

In the first two minutes of the final quarter, Rhymes found Andrews twice inside for points, and Desert Mountain was in control, leading 45-31.

“They were face-guarding a lot,” Andrews said. “I just had to get it down in the post.”

Jenkins returned to start the second half and scored Mesa’s first four points. But he picked up his fourth foul with 4:12 left in the period, and Mesa never got closer than nine points.


More USA TODAY High School Sports