HOSCHTON — The aftermath of Friday night’s game between Mill Creek and Mountain View girls was summed up best by Mill Creek head coach Ashley Phillips.
“We’ve got quite a few girls (in the locker room) nursing floor burns,” Phillips said.
In what is quickly becoming one of the county’s best rivalries, Mountain View and Mill Creek squared off for the first time this season with the Bears battling back for a physical 46-43 win.
“It’s a rivalry between us and them but we also play aggressive,” Mountain View head coach Jackie Lindquist said.
“With the history we have with them, Mill Creek was really gunning for us tonight.”
Mill Creek, which missed the state playoffs last year after losing to the Bears in the Region 7-AAAAAA tournament, came out on Friday night and matched the Bears’ physical style, building a 19-14 lead at the half.
With its offense struggling, Lundquist decided to change her approach.
“The offense we were running in the first half was not working,” Lindquist said. “(Mill Creek) was running and jumping and trapping every time, so we ran a different set in the second half. It turned out to be more effective for us.”
The change resulted in Mountain View being more forceful with its drives to the basket and quickly snapped the Bears (12-4, 7-1) out of their offensive slump with an 8-0 run to start the third quarter.
That spurt gave Mountain View its first lead of the night, but Mill Creek stayed strong and eventually reclaimed the lead at 37-35 with 4:26 left to play off a basket by Madison Phillips.
Arianna Williams, who finished with eight points for Mountain View, quickly tied it with a basket, but a 3-pointer from Meredith Schulte (10 points) put Mill Creek back in front at 40-37 with 3:36 remaining.
From that point on, however, points became very hard to come by for Mill Creek (10-5, 3-4), while Mountain View continued to pound away.
A bucket from Iceis Walker on an offensive rebound brought the Bears within one with 3:16 left. Walker would again come up big with a 3-pointer with 1:27 left to play off an assist from Jordan Stallworth, giving Mountain View a 42-40 lead.
“That 3-pointer came off an offensive rebound and was critical for them,” Ashley Phillips said. “You could tell (Mountain View) was making an effort to get to the rim and we didn’t do a good job of stopping it.
Walker led all players with 16 points, including nine in the decisive fourth quarter, while grabbing four rebounds with three assists.
The Bears would stretch their lead to 46-40 with 20 seconds left, but a 3-pointer from Schulte with 11 seconds to play gave the Hawks hope.
After being fouled on the ensuing inbounds, D’Andra Pringle went to the line with 5.7 seconds left with a chance to ice the game but missed both free throws.
Mill Creek controlled the rebound and called time out with 2.5 seconds to go, but the inbounds pass sailed out of bounds without being touched, effectively ending any chance at a tying shot for Mill Creek.
Aneysa Williams also had a solid night for Mill Creek, finishing with nine points, while Williams also had eight rebounds.
Madison Phillips led Mill Creek with 13 points, while Tatum Ragsdale scored eight. Ashley Gale led the Hawks in rebounds with 10.
Mill Creek boys 56, Mountain View 47
Mill Creek received offensive contributions from nine different players as the Hawks pulled away to top the Bears 56-47.
The Hawks led 26-16 at the half only to have Mountain View (2-7) pull within three points. However, a fourth-quarter surge by Mill Creek proved to be the difference.
Two players scored in double figures for Mill Creek (4-8), led by 12 points from Scotty Chadwick and 11 points from Chase Duffy.
Mountain View was led by a game-high 16 points from Deante Harris.