BELLEVUE — Rico Bolivar’s first shot of the night, late in the game, hit nothing but net, a 3-pointer for the Mountain View Thunder.
Unfortunately for the Thunder, it was one of just a handful of highlights Friday night.
Seattle Prep, the top-ranked team in the state according to the Seattle Times, was too fast, too strong for Mountain View in a 64-39 victory in a Class 3A regional boys basketball playoff game at Bellevue College. The Panthers (22-5) advance to the Tacoma Dome for the state tournament.
Mountain View’s season ends with a 20-8 record and a run to the sweet 16.
There were plenty of memories along the way: Zach Torson’s 85-point, two-game performance last week in the bi-district tournament to reach regionals. Ryan Johnson playing point forward, the college football-player-to-be picking up assist after assist.
And then there was Bolivar’s three-plus minutes of action Friday night. Normally the starting point guard, Bolivar hurt his ankle last week and was unable to start in the regionals.
With a wrapped ankle that was described as about 50 percent, he talked his coach into checking into the final game of his high school career. Then he swished a 3-pointer.
“I just wanted to get out there and help. Anything I could do to make some contribution,” Bolivar said. “I wish I could have been healthy. A tough time to get injured.”
Even with a healthy Bolivar, this would have been a tough task for the Thunder.
“The stars needed to be aligned,” Mountain View coach Nate DuChesne said. “We’d need to hit every shot and they’d need to have an off night. They were as good as advertised.”
Seattle Prep never trailed, making 26 of 48 shots from the floor. The Panthers also took advantage of a guard/post combination. Mitch Brewe, a 6-foot-8 post, went 9 of 12 from the floor for 19 points. D.J. Fenner, a 6-6 guard, was 8 of 12 and added 18 points.
Torson finished with 11 points to lead the Thunder. He was checked all night from wherever he stood in the half-court offense after scoring 42 and 43 points in his last two games.
Luke DuChesne added eight points for the Thunder.
“We have a lot of things to keep our heads up about,” Nate DuChesne said. “We won 20 games. We’re the only team from Clark County (here) in the 3As. We lost to a very good team, and we competed and battled. We were just outmanned.”
Bolivar appreciated his coach’s outlook, but he also said he and the Thunder could have had a better showing against Seattle Prep.
“We didn’t come here just looking to compete. Any team is beatable,” Bolivar said. “We knew they were No. 1 in the state, but we think we’re pretty good, too. I like to think if things went our way ... they obviously didn’t.”
Seattle Prep led 6-0 in just more than a minute of play. The Panthers extended the lead to 13 after the first quarter. It was 16 by halftime, then 23 at the end of three.
“We truly believe if we play our game, play our best, we are a hard team to beat,” Brewe said. “They’re a really good team. We were just firing on all cylinders tonight.”
While the outcome of the game was no longer in doubt in the fourth quarter, Mountain View still got that special memory of the round of 16. Bolivar made that long 3-pointer and the large Mountain View student section that made the trip to Bellevue erupted in cheers.
Even in defeat, the Thunder showed they belonged.
SEATTLE PREP 64, MOUNTAIN VIEW 39
MOUNTAIN VIEW (20-8) — Zach Torson 11, Luke DuChesne 8, Taylor Drey 5, Rico Bolivar 5, Ryan Johnson 4, Shane McCauley 4, Akash Sanghera 2, Sean McCauley 0, Nolan Briggs 0, Alex Torson 0. Totals 17-41 (3-15) 2-2 39.
SEATTLE PREP (22-5) — Mitch Brewe 19, D.J. Fenner 18, Ryan Caindec 9, Josh Martin 7, Michael Phillips 6, Brady Price 3, Angelo Marchesini 2, Jackson Clough 0, Laurence Hicks 0, Pierce Hudson 0, Jacob Walsh 0, Marc Caindec 0. Totals 26-48 (6-12) 6-8 64.
Mountain View 9 11 8 11—39
Seattle Prep 22 14 15 13—64