Anthem Boulder Creek hasn’t had much good luck with overtime games lately.
First, there was a tight loss to Phoenix Xavier last week, a game in which a Boulder Creek player was taken to the hospital.
Then there was Boulder Creek’s 61-58 overtime loss to Phoenix Mountain Pointe in the first round of the Division I, Section III tournament Tuesday at Desert Mountain High School in Scottsdale.
Still, coach Josiah McDaniel felt better about this one than the Xavier game. For one, Mountain Pointe (24-4) is the No. 2 seed in the section and the No. 6 team in the Division, according to the Arizona Interscholastic Association rankings.
Also, Boulder Creek (18-10) fought all the way to the end.
“That last one, we blew it,” McDaniel said. “We were up 10 with three minutes.”
Boulder Creek also had a late lead Tuesday, but it was just a 58-57 margin with 10.2 seconds left in overtime. Mountain Pointe senior Caitlyn Hetrick scored off an inbounds play drawn up during a time out, and Boulder Creek turned it over on the other end with 2.7 seconds remaining.
Hetrick scored again off an inbounds to ice the game.
“We just put something else in, and the girls executed it perfectly,” said Mountain Pointe coach Trevor Neider.
Like in the Xavier game, was hurt by a late injury. Sophomore guard Darian Slaga injured her wrist late in the game, and missed a pair of free throws with 32.6 seconds left in overtime that would have put Boulder Creek up 60-57.
“She’s 85 percent (from the line),” McDaniel said. “She doesn’t miss those. I’m not saying we win, but up three with about 20 seconds left, I like our chances a lot better.”
Slaga led all scorers with 25 points, and 6-3 post Sam Young had 11 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks.
Despite Young’s significant height advantage, Mountain Pointe more than fared well in the lane, getting 18 points from 6-1 post Kaylah Lupoe and solid post play from Monay Mariscal.
Mountain Pointe also outrebounded Boulder Creek 40 to 34, and had 20 offensive rebounds to Boulder Creek’s three.
“That was one of our goals tonight – to be physical and play aggressive,” Neider said. “Sometimes it got a little too crazy, but at least it keeps our intensity level up.”
Mountain Pointe, assured a state tournament berth with the win, will face Tempe Marcos de Niza in the Section III semifinals at 5:45 p.m. Thursday at Chaparral High School.
Boulder Creek, 22nd in the latest AIA rankings, will have to hope that the loss improves its strength of schedule and therefore its ranking to avoid sitting at home come tournament time.
“We had two really bad losses in the power point games,” McDaniel said. “We just have to live with that.”