There was no messing around this time. No allowing the opposing team to hang around.
Unlike the night before, the boys basketball team from Phoenix Shadow Mountain had a clear purpose on Saturday night (Jan. 4) – defeat Laveen Betty H. Fairfax in the championship game of the Phoenix Union High School District Holiday Classic.
“When we know that it’s a championship game, that’s when we bring our “A’ game,’’ said Shadow Mountain sophomore point guard Michael Bibby.
He was right about that.
Bibby scored 17 points, including four 3-pointers, and was named the tournament’s MVP, and the Matadors had four other players score in double figures in a 92-61 rout at Phoenix South Mountain High.
Bibby’s father, Mike, the team’s lead assistant coach, called the team lackadaisical the night before, but Shadow Mountain was on top of things from the start.
“We don’t like going home in second place,’’ said Michael Bibby, whose team finished second to Tempe Corona del Sol in the recent Hoophall West tournament at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix.
The other four sophomores who scored in double figures were Carlos Johnson (19), J.J. Rhymes (17), Harrison Hilliard (11) and Karlan Brooks (10).
Shadow Mountain led 18-11 after the first quarter and 47-32 at the half. Hilliard had six points in the third quarter as the Matadors continued to build their lead. Mike Bibby pulled his starters with 6 ½ minutes to go in the game and Shadow Mountain holding a 71-47 advantage.
Senior guard Rodney Erskin attempted to keep Betty H. Fairfax in the game with his outside shooting, but didn’t get a lot of help from his teammates. The Stampede rarely had a chance to put back an errant shot, with Johnson and Rhymes hitting the boards hard.
Erskin fired home 29 points, including eight 3-pointers.
Now Shadow Mountain will have a brief break before returning to action next week.
“This will give us great momentum going into the next part of our season,’’ Michael Bibby said. “We showed we are one of the top teams in the state, and we want to continue to do that.’’