It all comes down to Saturday.
And the Mountain View High boys basketball team hopes that indeed, their third winner-to-regional game over the past seven days, is the charm.
“I believe in us,” said senior guard Jacob Martin.
After Friday’s 61-42 loss to North Thurston out of Lacey, the Thunder (14-10 overall) now host Todd Beamer at 7 p.m. Saturday in a winner-take-all game. Win, and the Thunder are into regionals for the first time since 2012. Todd Beamer topped Stadium in their 3A bi-distict game in Tacoma on Friday.
Saturday marks the second consecutive season Mountain View is in a position to win a regional berth on the final day of bi-districts. But as the No. 1 seed out of the 3A Greater St. Helens League this season, that meant an extra luxury all week: soon-to-be four consecutive home games over a seven-day stretch.
Three of those games happened to be against South Sound Conference opponents. First came a 70-67 overtime loss to regional-bound Gig Harbor, followed by Wednesday’s loser-out victory over Capital out of Olympia.
Friday, the Rams out of Lacey led from start to finish, had a double-digit lead by the 3-minute mark of the first quarter, and led by as many as 24 mid-way through the third quarter behind nine 3s (compared to two for Mountain View), second-chance points and interior play from Thad Thakley (game-high 18 points).
Martin said he and his teammates know the importance of coming out with a strong first quarter to help set the tone at home. They trailed by 10 in the first quarter Friday.
“There’s no room for error (Saturday),” Martin said. “(We need to) come out in the beginning with more energy and more pace on offense. … We’ve been losing shooters early in the first quarter and getting down the past three games.
“When you dig yourself a hole in playoff basketball where everybody is good, every hole is going to be tough to come out of.”
Isaiah Vargas led the Thunder with 16 points and Martin added eight.
NORTH THURSTON 61, MOUNTAIN VIEW 42
NORTH THURSTON — Thad Tenkley 18, Justus Walker 2, Micah Gentry 3, Jackson Lusk 9, Karmel Delacruz 3, Julian Lee 4, Ray Adams 6, Micah Anderson 0, Ahren Bee-Richards 10, Ahmari Steplight 6. Totals 23 (9) 5-6 61.
MOUNTAIN VIEW — Jacob Martin 8, Isaiah Vargas 16, Tyler Aimone 4, Peter Nguyen 2, Noah Morishige 0, Daniel Dolev 2, Madden Wilson 0, Tage Ghuman 2, Tre Hughes-Farmer 0, Ledarius Washington 6. Totals 16 (2) 8-13 42.
Nor. Thu 21 14 14 12 – 61
Mtn. View 11 8 10 13 – 42