Unlike its most recent state championship squads, Mountain View may not have a player on its roster that goes on to play Division I basketball.
But after Friday’s performance against Brophy, there’s no debating this is the state’s best team.
Mountain View finished up its dominant postseason run with a 50-29 victory over the Broncos to capture the 5A Division I boys basketball championship on Friday night at Jobing.com Arena.
True to form, the Toros didn’t have a player score more than 12 points, but used a balanced offense and a suffocating defense to cruise to the victory. Mountain View didn’t win a postseason game by fewer than 21 points.
“To see them come together, everybody doing the things they do well to make the team better… they just bought in and did what they had to do,” Mountain View coach Gary Ernst said. “I’m really proud of them.”
The Toros won three consecutive titles from 2005-07. Ernst employed the same basic principles of high-percentage offensive shots and fundamental defense back then, but he could always turn to the individual talent of Harper Kamp, Kendall Wallace or Brendon Lavender when in a bind.
Kamp went on to Cal, Wallace to UNLV and Lavender to Arizona.
This year’s version didn’t have one or two players that could take over a game at will, but a collection that would stick to the game plan and inevitably wear down opponents.
Cam Boone led Mountain View with 12 points and 10 rebounds, and guard Mark Mazzucco was the only other player in double figures with 11. But the Toros shot 55.3 percent as a team and had 15 assists on 21 field goals.
Despite the big stage, Mountain View patiently waited for good scoring opportunities on the majority of the trips down the floor, and it paid off.
“We just stick to the basics and play as a team,” Mazzucco said. “That’s how we win games.”
Brophy scored 96 points in a win over Mesa in the semifinals on Thursday, but was shut down by Mountain View’s sticky defense in this one. The Broncos shot just 20.5 percent from the field and had trouble getting anything going inside because of Boone, Kyle Bingham and Sam Kamp.
Brophy finished with only 10 points in the paint and two second-chance points after excelling in those areas against the Jackrabbits.
Mountain View won the rebounding battle 33-23.
“That’s one of our main focuses,” Boone said. “Don’t turn the ball over and play defense.”
The game was tied at 10 at the end of the first quarter and at 12 after Sai Tummala scored with 5:51 remaining before halftime. That’s when Mountain View turned it on, using a 13-0 run to grab a comfortable advantage. The Toros went into intermission ahead 25-13 and the lead never dipped below single digits the rest of the way.
Mazzucco injured his knee with 3:47 left in the game and couldn’t bend it after, but re-entered the game moments later to soak in the victory on the court.
“It was starting to swell up, but I just wanted to play through it because it was my last game,” Mazzucco said.