SALT LAKE CITY — Why not Mountain View?
That’s been the motto throughout the playoffs for the No. 18-seeded Bruins, who upset No. 15 Box Elder and No. 2 Farmington in the 5A state tournament.
Add No. 10 Viewmont to that list.
The Bruins beat the Vikings 52-50 in overtime to advance to the semifinals against the winner of Highland and Salem Hills.
“I think people look at our season and think we wouldn’t go this far, but with this new bracket, we talked about all season that all that matters is that we learn from each game, and we have. We’re peaking at the right time,” said Mountain View head coach Gentry Dickerson.
Down 41-35 with two minutes remaining, it looked bleak for Mountain View, but the Bruins closed the fourth quarter on a 10-4 run to force overtime. An and-one from Sami Suguturaga with 27 seconds left tied the game up at 43-43. After two free throws by Grace McKay, Viewmont once again had a late lead. The Vikings had a chance to put the game away when they went to the line up 45-43 with seven seconds remaining, but two missed free throws opened the door for the Bruins. Out of the timeout, Sydney White dished it to Abby Kretschmer, who beat the buzzer to send the game into overtime.
“I tell the girls: ‘Drive down, draw two and kick,’ and my freshman (White) executes, gets it to my senior (Kretschmer), who hits the biggest shot of her life. ... She hasn’t gotten a ton of minutes, but to make a big play like that is exciting for her team,” Dickerson said.
Anna Roberts led the Bruins with 15 points, while White — just 14 years old — had 12 points, 3 assists and three rebounds. Karlia Gunnell was great for the Vikings, scoring 21 points.
Mountain View amped up the defense in the late fourth quarter and was able to put the pressure on Viewmont defensively via the press.
“It changes momentum for my girls to gain energy from the press,” Dickerson said. “… I think more what it did was get pressure on the other team and that took a lot of off my girls and allowed them to come down the other side an execute a little more.”
In overtime, with the game tied at 50-50 with eight seconds, White calmly knocked down two free throws to give Mountain View the overtime victory.
“She’s 14 and you wouldn’t believe it. The girl is able to process things better than others and to recognize that she’s here to have fun. Whatever that is allows her to take a lot of pressure off herself that I put on her,” Dickerson said of White. “We trust her a lot and she’s taken that role on very well to execute and simplify the game. When she simplifies the game, everyone else plays so much better.”
In the end, it wasn’t fancy schemes that won it for the Bruins — it was getting back to basics.
“We’ve talked a lot about principles and trusting our girls. We just went back to the basics. If we can focus on what we can control, then hopefully they’re not as nervous,” Dickerson said. “It was defense that won it and then knocking down some easy shots.”