It did not matter that Mountain View only led for a minute of Thursday night’s Class 3A District 4 boys basketball semifinal.
It was the only one that mattered.
Akash Sanghera buried a 3-pointer with a minute to play to give the Thunder a one-point lead, and later connected on a long jumper with 9 seconds left — and two on the shot clock — for a three-point cushion in what turned into a 49-47 victory over Fort Vancouver.
Mountain View’s rally moved the Thunder into the championship game against top-seed Columbia River, set for 8 p.m. Friday at Columbia River.
Fort Vancouver led by 12 at the half and by as many as nine early in the fourth quarter. A tough loss for the Trappers, but their season is not complete. As the No. 3 seed, they advance to the bi-district tournament next week.
Still, the Trappers had to be thinking this was their night, that they were going to advance to the championship game.
Then the Thunder started making their shots.
“If we were going to win it, we had to play our game,” Sanghera said. “We had to rebound and play defense. That’s what gets us going. Our entire offense changed when we started playing defense. We knew we were going to hit our shots. We have shooters on our team.”
Even the Thunder would have to admit they did not look like shooters in the first half. Mountain View scored 13 points on 6-of-30 shooting.
But as Sanghera said, the Thunder knew things would turn their way.
Taylor Drey made a 3-pointer with 3:39 to play to make it a two-point game. Then Luke DuChesne tied the game on the next possession.
Fort’s Matt Delisle gave the Trappers the lead again, but Sanghera was true on his 3-pointer, a few feet behind the line.
“I didn’t even think,” Sanghera said. “I knew we needed it. I just pulled it.”
After a Fort miss, the Thunder took seconds off the game clock before Sanghera swished another shot, this time just inside the 3-point line to make it 49-46.
Fort’s Loris Harvey got a look to tie, but he was fouled on a 3-point attempt with a second remaining. Harvey missed the first free throw, made the second, and intentionally missed the third. But the attempt at a rebound-putback was denied by Mountain View.
“We knew we weren’t going to lose after all that,” Sanghera said. “We’d come too far.”
Delisle led Fort with 17 points. Will Doty had 13 points and 15 rebounds.
The Trappers had a miserable shooting second half, making 7 of 26 from the floor.
On the flip side, Mountain View bounced back from its first-half woes by making 14 of 27 in the second half.
Drey finished with 13 points, Sanghera had 12, and Shane McCauley ended up with 11. Alex Torson grabbed 10 rebounds for the Thunder.
MOUNTAIN VIEW 49, FORT VANCOUVER 47
FORT VANCOUVER — Tre Eisenhut 7, GaQuan White 0, Loris Harvey 2, Matt Delisle 17, K-Last Karuo 4, Deonte Hawkins 4, Jordan Howard 0, Will Doty 13. Totals 18-57 (5-14) 6-11 47.
MOUNTAIN VIEW – Shane McCauley 11, Taylor Drey 13, Luke DuChesne 9, Akash Sanghera 12, Alex Torson 4, Patrick Woodson 0, Nolan Briggs 0, Dauntae Williams 0. Totals 20-57 (5-19) 4-7 49.
Ft. Van. 13 12 13 9—47
Mtn. View 7 6 19 17—49