Mesa Mountain View shook off a humbling loss earlier this week with a solid second half and captured a 64-57 road win over East Valley Region rival Mesa Dobson.
The Toros (15-3, 4-0) had four players in double figures Friday and shot 56 percent from the floor in the battle of Mesa’s two top teams.
Mountain View has won twice since getting upset by Desert Vista in the Martin Luther King Holiday shootout Monday.
“People were talking about how this might be the best team we had, and maybe we thought we were invincible, and then we go and lose to Desert Vista,” said Mountain View’s Kendall Wallace, who scored 13, including four critical free throws in the fourth quarter.
“I think we realize that we have to always bring our best game if we want a shot at the championship.”
Although Mountain View was sound when it did put the ball up, it had problems early on with Dobson’s defense, which created six Toros turnovers in the first quarter.
Mountain View also had to deal with Dobson’s Mickey McConnell and Ian Wallace.
McConnell scored 13 of his 23 points in the first half, and Wallace nailed three of his four three-pointers as Dobson was up at the half 31-27.
Unfortunately for Dobson (15-5, 3-1), foul trouble slowed down the Mustangs offense in the second quarter. Dobson’s Ian Wallace and McConnell went scoreless in the third quarter, allowing the Toros to begin taking control of the game.
The Toros went on runs of 8-2 and 11-3 in the third quarter, capped by a three-pointer from Justin Wesolowski at the start of the fourth quarter, and suddenly Dobson found itself down 50-40.
“I think we got a little carried away with the moment and lost a little bit of focus,” Dobson coach Rick McConnell said.
“To their credit (Mountain View) did some nice things while we struggled a bit, but that is something we can fix.”
Ian Wallace, who finished with 16 points, and McConnell attempted to lead the Mustangs back into the fray in the final minutes, but the Toros hit 10 of 12 free throws in the final minute and a half to seal the victory.
“Dobson is a good team and this was a good road win for us,” Mountain View coach Gary Ernst said.
“We did a better job in the second half playing at our tempo, getting into the lane, and playing good defense.”
Brendon Lavender led Mountain View with 14 points. Teammate Harper Kamp contributed 13.
Wesolowski finished with 12 points for the Toros.