Chase McClain saw the play coming.
With seven seconds remaining, the Mountain View senior intercepted a Jacob Tompkins pass intended for Julian Mora and raced to the other basket for a 3-point play to ice the Cougars’ 70-66 victory over visiting Summit on Friday night.
“I knew it was going to be a steal because when Jacob was dribbling over, he was pointing to Mora to go over and he wasn’t driving so I knew he must be passing it,” said McClain, who led the Cougars with 19 points. “I knew it was mine.”
McClain’s steal and 3-point play came after Grant Jordan made two free throws to give Mountain View a 67-66 lead with 17 seconds remaining in the Mountain Valley Conference game.
“We didn’t play very well at times tonight but the kids battled to the end,” Mountain View coach Bob Townsend said. “We executed a couple of big rotations on defense finally and had a big play at the end to get the turnover. It’s always great to get a win but it’s always great to have a lot of coachable moments. There was a lot of stuff that we need to get better at. We’ll take the win but we just need to get better in a lot of areas.”
Summit led 21-16 at the end of the first quarter as Tompkins scored 13 of his game-high 25 in the period.
But steals turned into layups by Mountain View’s Sawyer Demeyer and Tony Adamo put the Cougars on top 30-27 with three minutes to go in the second quarter.
“We just had to step up our game,” McClain said. “We came out sluggish. We didn’t bring the pressure and make them play our game.”
Mountain View led 39-34 at halftime but had to play much of the second half without Grant Jordan after the junior picked up his third and fourth fouls in a span of less than five seconds.
Jordan, who had 11 points in the first half, went to the bench with 6:50 remaining in the third quarter and did not return until 4:08 remained in the game.
“When one of our main players is out I’ve got to step up even more, double the defense, double the offense and double the intensity,” said McClain.
The Cougars also got a boost from Adamo, who knocked down 3-pointers on back-to-back Mountain View possessions to stretch the lead to 47-37.
But behind the 3-point shooting of Mora and the post play of Michael Schutz, Summit battled and tied the game at 59-59 on a Schutz 3-point play with 5:49 remaining.
With 4:20 to go, Tompkins knocked down a 3-pointer to give the Storm their first lead of the second half, 62-61. Schutz then scored in the paint to extend the lead.
However, Mountain View closed the game on a 9-2 run to earn its first MVC win.
“We were disappointed in the turnovers,” Summit coach Jon Frazier said. “I think we gave them too many opportunities that were unforced. That’s something that we need to clean up and make sure we don’t give a team as good as Mountain View extra opportunities.”
Adamo scored 17 points for the Cougars (1-1 MVC, 8-4 overall) and Jordan added 13.
Mora had 13 points for the Storm (0-2, 3-9) and Schutz finished with 12.
“I thought both teams stepped up and made some big shots,” Frazier said. “Hopefully next time we’re in this situation we’ll execute better and find a way to win.”
— Reporter: 541-383-0307, email@example.com