Desert Vista Cruises Past Chavez to Advance

by Justin Vargas | Posted on Wednesday, February 14th, 2018

Tuesday night would mark the first night of the 2018 AIA playoffs, as the #3 seeded Desert Vista Thunder (23-4) would play host to the young Cesar Chavez Champions (19-10) for the right to move on to the 2nd round. It would be the first match-up between the two, as Chavez got here by defeating Westview 81-63 on the road in a play-in game.

Cesar Chavez would come out of the gates jumping out to a quick 5-0 lead, as Desert Vista would open up the game with some sloppy play on the offensive end. Chavez would start out scrappy down in the paint against the much bigger Desert Vista frontcourt.

However, it would be DV’s 6-foot-3 talented junior point guard Tyrek Chambers activity on both ends keeping the Thunder within striking distance early. He would start the game scoring all 3 of their buckets to tie the game at 6 at the 4-minute mark.

But Chavez’s 6-foot-2 freshman sensation Ty Ty Washington would clap right back with a nice pull-up jumper to give Chavez back the lead. Just 30 seconds later, the Champions 5-foot-10 junior guard Abdi Odawaay would jump the passing lane and put the DV retreating defender in the spin cycle and finish in transition, forcing Head Coach Gino Crump to call a timeout with less than 3 minutes remaining in the opening quarter

Desert Vista would come out of the timeout with their 6-foot-7 Jayden Rollins nailing a 3-ball in the corner. On the very next play, Thunder 6-foot guard Alijah Gammage would find 6-foot-6 uber-athletic senior wing Wesley Harris with a behind-the-back pass as he finished above the rim to give them a 3-point advantage in just 15 seconds of play, as DV would turn on the pressure cooker on the Chavez guards.

Just before the buzzer, DV 6-foot-9 senior big man Christian Anigwe would get a put-back to go to send them into the locker room up 34-28

With 3 minutes gone in the 2nd half, Chambers would boogie to the paint and find a trailing Harris with a sweet, over-the-shoulder, no-look pass to push lead to 12.

With 3 minutes left in the 3rd quarter, Chambers took a strong, Bronx-style drive to the rack and finished above two Chavez defenders to make it 32-20, forcing Chavez Head Coach Gary Lee to call a timeout.

Harris and Rollins would host their very own block party in the paint on defense in the 2nd part of the 3rd quarter, swatting away multiple Chavez shot attempts in the paint.

Harris would swat away a shot attempt in the paint and got it ahead to a streaking Gammage to make it 41-30 with 4 minutes left in the 3rd quarter

But Chavez would show some Southside toughness as their 6-foot-6 senior forward Isaac Williams would get back-to-back buckets to go to get them back to within single digits with 2 and a half minutes to go in the period.

But Chambers would show off his outside game, dropping a 3-ball off the bounce to give DV back a 13 point lead with a minute to go in the 3rd. DV would go on to take a 52-40 lead into the final quarter.

One minute into 4th quarter, Thunder 6-foot-2 junior guard Isaiah Wilson found Anigwe and dropped one off to him to push lead to 16. On the very next play Harris would find him a victim in transition and got a Chavez defender in the air with him (big mistake), as he flushed it home off his head to give DV a commanding 60-42 lead.

To be noted, Coach Crump made a great defensive adjustment, trapping Washington at the top of the key and forcing the other Chavez players to beat them. The strategy paid off in spades, as it allowed the athletic Thunder to get out into the open court by forcing him to make cross-court passes and putting the ball into the hands of players that couldn’t handle the frantic pressure.
DV would get in transition with 5 minutes left in game, as Wilson tossed a no-look, rainbow alley-oop to Harris for a above-the-stripe one-handed highlight dunk to give them a 65-44 lead. The pass was just as good as the finish!

With 3 minutes left in the game and DV in a commanding lead, Gammage found Harris leaking like an ’84 Cutlass engine and hit him in stride as Harris got his 3rd highlight dunk, with a 2-hander he cocked behind his head before flushing it, pushing the lead to 19.

Desert Vista would pull their starters in the later minutes of the 4th quarter, cruising to a 76-61 win, allowing them to advance to the 2nd round match-up with Red Mountain on their home floor.
Chambers dropped a game-high 22 points, to go with 5 assists. Wesley Harris would finish with a highlight-filled 18 points, to go with 6 boards and 3 blocks.

Talented freshman guard TyTy Washington would finish with a team-high 22 points in the loss.

Side Note: Red Mountain’s crazy talented 6-foot-6 senior wing Timmy Allen (Utah signee) injured his ankle in the first half of their game against Desert Mountain. Though they would get the win, Allen is rumored to be hobbled and not 100%. It will take an incredible gutsy performance by the future Ute to pull off a win against this talented Desert Vista team. Red Mountain’s 6-foot-7 manimal, Andre Harris will need to step up big in this one. It should make for some drama on Friday night.

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