The Mountain View Mountain Lions may be coming together, if their performance in last week's Northwest Desert Classic basketball tournament is any indication.
By winning their first four games in pool play, the boys earned a trip to the finals, losing to Amphi's pressure defense, 74-31.
The highly ranked Panthers have only one loss all year.
"We're improving," said Mountain View coach Mike Parillo. "I thought the potential was there. We jelled a little bit better."
The Mountain Lions defeated Gila Ridge to open the tournament, 59-47. Joshua Goshen led with 16 points, Demetris Morant scored 12 and Chris Olson 10.
A 64-14 win over Edwin Paar (of Canada) was a well-balanced effort. Goshen led with 14 points. Zacch Clauson and Zach Carter each had nine, while Scott Volpe, Olson and Morant each scored eight.
"We're going inside more to our big guys," Parillo said. "We just hadn't been utilizing our size before."
The Mountain Lions also defeated Mingus 61-44, as Morant scored 17. Volpe had 13 and Olson 10.
In the semis, the Lions beat Mesa Westwood 36-25. Goshen had 13 and Volpe 12. Volpe was named to the all-tournament team. Morant scored 14 in the loss to Amphi.
Back in regional play, Parillo wants the team to continue unselfish play.
"Try to make someone look better on your team," Parillo said. "That's our goal. At the beginning of the year, it was shoot first and pass second. We've changed that now. Guys are looking for each other more."
In other tournament action, Pusch Ridge, the other co-host, split its four games. Trever Cook led the way for the Lions, making the all-tournament team.
On a busy Monday at their home gym, the Lions split a pair of games. They won 71-70 over Flowing Wells in an overtime thriller, as four Lions scored in double figures. Cook had 19 points and eight assists. Jeremy Courtney added 14, Greg Schimke 12 and Tyler Kaveloh 11.
The Lions had lost earlier to Mesa Westwood, 48-41. Schimke sizzled out of the gate, making his first three shots, but the Lions still trailed at halftime 22-19.
"We seemed to find our shot too often," said first-year coach Dennis O'Reilly. "We shot too early."
The Lions frequently took the first available open shot. Cook finished with 12 points on 6-19 shooting. Courtney added 11 points, and Schimke finished with 10.
"Westwood was a good test for them," O'Reilly said. "They play with a lot of intensity."
The Lions defeated Buena 48-39, but were eliminated by Gila Ridge 48-45. Schimke had 10 in the loss.
O'Reilly was talking about transition. "They're trying to learn a new system under a new coach," he said. "They're still learning."
The Lions have seven seniors, including football players who practiced late due to their playoff run.
"A lot of seniors are trying to grasp it. I'm pleased. We're getting there."