The start was electric.
Both teams matching each other.
The game was tied at 2. Then 4. And 6, 8, 10 and 12.
And then, well ...
... Only one team kept playing at that frantic pace Thursday night.
The Mountain View Thunder went on an 18-2 run and the game was never close again.
The Thunder beat Prairie 84-53 in the Class 3A district boys basketball semifinal. Mountain View will face 3A Greater St. Helens League champion Columbia River for the district title at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Fort Vancouver High School.
Zach Torson scored 27 points — none in the fourth quarter — and Ryan Johnson added 18 points.
“They cost us a league championship,” Torson said, referring to the Falcons, who knocked the Thunder out of first place with a victory late in the regular season. “We wanted to come back and send a message.”
All the Thunder were ready for this one. Each starter had one field goal to account for Mountain View’s first 10 points. The Thunder never trailed, even though it was tied those six times in the quarter.
Prairie started hot, too. But in a flash, the Mountain View defense control.
“I think the difference was our defensive intensity,” Mountain View coach Nate DuChesne said. “We were able to hold them to one shot, we rebounded well, and we were able to get into our transition game.”
The Thunder finished the period with 26 points. Then they held the Falcons to six points in the second quarter.
Torson scored the final seven points of the first half for the Thunder, including a layup just before the buzzer off a sweet feed from Johnson. That made it 44-20.
There was no run to be made for Prairie in the second half. The closest the game got was 20 points.
Torson’s 3-pointer late in the third made it a 29-point advantage. Torson finished 10 of 17 from the floor and made three 3-pointers.
Preston Brooks was Prairie’s offensive highlight. He made four 3-pointers and had 19 points.
Prairie advances to next week’s bi-district tournament as the No. 3 seed from Southwest Washington.
Mountain View is looking to get the top seed with a battle vs. Columbia River on tap for Friday.
MOUNTAIN VIEW 84, PRAIRIE 53
PRAIRIE (16-6) — Colton Prestwich 2, Reece Burnett 7, JaMariay McDonald 4, Preston Brooks 19, James Phillips 7, Ryan Denny 2, Andy Hak 3, Dane Brooks 3, Nathan Cherzan 6. Totals 18 (7) 10-18 53.
MOUNTAIN VIEW (16-5) — Zach Torson 27, Taylor Drey 9, Ryan Johnson 18, Grayson Anderson 5, Luke DuChesne 2, Josh Barcinas , Rico Bolivar 12, Sean McCauley 2, Shane McCauley 6, Nolan Biggs 3. Totals 29 (8) 18-27 84.
Prairie 14 6 20 13—53
Mountain View 26 18 25 15—84