Whatever magic the Mountain View girls basketball team has discovered during the Class 5A tournament, it’s still working.
The No. 18-seed Bruins trailed No. 10 Viewmont by 10 points in the third quarter and by six with less than two minutes to play. But senior Abigail Kretschmer took a pass from freshman Sydney White and drained a 10-foot jumper as the clock hit zeros at the end of regulation to tie the game at 50, and White made two clutch free throws with 8.7 seconds to play for a stunning 52-50 victory on Tuesday at the Huntsman Center.
It was Mountain View’s third straight upset in the state tournament and sends the Bruins to the semifinals on Thursday.
“I think people look at our season and think that we wouldn’t have come this far,” Mountain View first-year coach Gentry Dickerson said. “With this new bracket we talk about all season that all that matters is we learn from each game and they have. They are peaking at the right time. This group has been in the state tournament in soccer and they won the state championship in volleyball. These girls know how to compete when comes down to it. I don’t know what’s in their hearts but whatever it is it’s working and I’m loving it.”
Mountain View (13-12) struggled with turnovers all night and had a hard time getting senior Sami Suguturaga, its leading scorer, into a good offensive rhythm. Viewmont (13-11) got a big game from Karlia Gunnell, who made five 3-pointers and scored 21 points. The Vikings led 29-19 in the third quarter and took a 29-24 lead into the fourth. A pair of free throws from Grace MacKay with 2:13 to play gave Viewmont a 41-35 lead and the Vikings appeared to have control.
But Mountain View’s defensive pressure, spearheaded by Anna Roberts, forced some key turnovers and the Bruins found themselves trailing by two, 45-43, with 6.7 seconds to play. White raced the full length of the court and passed to Kretschmer, whose jumper barely beat the buzzer to force overtime.
There was a lot of White’s slender shoulders in the overtime since Roberts and Suguturaga had already fouled out.
“She’s 14, and you wouldn’t believe it,” Dickerson said. “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 self that we put on her. We trust her a lot to execute and simplify the game and that makes it easier for her teammates.”
With the score tied at 50, White earned a steal to give Mountain View a chance at the last shot. Viewmont fouled her with 8.7 seconds to play, sending her to the line for two shots.
“Well, I was shaking really bad,” White admitted. “I’d rather not go to double overtime, so I might as well make them. I also did that for my teammates because we worked so hard to get here.”
Leading 52-50, Mountain View got the defensive stop it needed when Kretschmer blocked Viewmont’s last attempt as the final horn sounded.
Roberts paced Mountain View with 15 points and White added 12. Suguturaga scored nine points and had seven rebounds before fouling out.
The Bruins will face the winner of Salem Hills and Highland in the semifinals on Thursday.