- Published on Tuesday, 02 February 2010 16:00
- Written by Pete Borello - Town Crier Staff Writer
The Mountain View High girls basketball team isn’t the biggest or best-shooting squad in the league, yet here the Spartans are – sitting in first place.
Mountain View has a knack for winning close games, like Friday’s 44-42 decision over Lynbrook. The Spartans’ last five games have been decided by four points or less, and they’ve won all but one of them.
“It’s all about determination for us,” said coach Judy Auclair, whose team improved to 5-2 in the SCVAL De Anza Division and 12-7 overall. “We never feel we’re out of a game – we just keep playing. It doesn’t matter if it’s a two-point game or we’re down nine, we don’t feel anybody can beat us.”
The visiting Vikings, who came into Friday’s game tied for first, had their chances. They held a 38-34 lead entering the fourth quarter. But the spunky Spartans scored the next seven points, the last five by Sharissa Estremera (baseline drive and corner 3). The junior guard finished with a game-high 20 points that included four treys.
“Sharissa hit a lot of 3s and kept us in the game,” Auclair said.
Lynbrook snapped its scoreless streak with 4:56 left – on an inside basket by center Jordan Day (16 points) – but Mountain View quickly countered with an uncontested layup from guard Abish Alcaraz. Forward Tiffany Wooten added a free throw at the 3:22 mark, giving the Spartans a 44-40 advantage.
The teams then traded turnovers three times before the Vikings cut their deficit in half on a layin by guard Sharon Hao with 1:10 to go.
After Mountain View missed back-to-back drives, Lynbrook had two shots at tying the game. The Vikings took the ball to the basket both times, with Day’s drive through the middle bouncing off the rim at the buzzer.
The Spartans survived despite shooting only 29 percent from the field and missing 11 of their 15 attempts from 3-point range. But Mountain View forced 14 turnovers, eight of them in the fourth quarter when it limited Lynbrook to 2-of-14 shooting.
“Our defense has to pick it up (for us to win),” Auclair said. “Without height, it’s just determination.”
Perhaps no player was more determined than Sarah Wada. The junior guard scored five points playing with sore ribs.
“Give Wada credit,” Auclair said. “She probably shouldn’t have been out there.”
All of Wada’s points came in the first half, the last one on a free throw with a second left that put the Spartans ahead 22-18.
Estremera had 13 points at intermission.
Mountain View is scheduled to host Saratoga 6 p.m. Friday.