In a game that Mountain View never led, there was still hope with the clock showing 29.4 seconds remaining.
Trailing by 11 at the end of the third quarter, the Mountain Lions put together a 13-6 run in the fourth quarter. Junior point guard Danny Burrows led the late-game run against the Tucson High Badgers.
Down 12, Burrows used his quickness to drive to the basket and score back-to-back buckets, cutting the Mountain Lions’ deficit to eight.
The Badgers’ Cameron Volk added a point from the free throw line, but a subsequent three-pointer by senior forward Jake Fleetwood put Mountain View within six and sent the home crowd into hysteria.
After two Badgers’ turnovers and a conversion on the offensive end, the Mountain Lions found themselves within four – the least they had trailed since midway through the second quarter.
The teams would flip-flop possessions until, just when it was needed, Burrows again found space to the hoop, putting his team within two with 29.4 seconds remaining.
“Danny Burrows is one of the guys that has a big heart,” said head coach Mike Parillo. “I’ll go down in a battle and a fight with him. He’s a scrapper. I can’t say enough about him.”
Things looked even better for the Mountain Lions coming out of a Badgers’ timeout.
On an inbound pass, Volk bobbled the ball out of bounds, returning possession to Mountain View – or at least it seemed.
The referees huddled for a moment before determining Volk had been forced out of bounds by a Mountain View player.
The foul sent Volk to the line, where he made one of two, giving the Badgers a three-point lead with 25 seconds left.
Burrows pushed the offensive charge, heading toward the basket, but, at the last moment, dishing the ball to Orion Hughes. Hughes was forced to adjust his shot underneath as two Badgers defenders rushed him, and the ball narrowly rimmed out, forcing the Mountain Lions to foul.
With only 10 seconds remaining, things looked grim for the Mountain Lions when Volk made one of two, creating a two-possession game.
In the final possession, the Mountain Lions turned the ball over as the clock wound down.
Turnovers plagued Mountain View all game.
“It was a huge factor,” said Burrows. “It kept us from scoring the points we should have and gave away a lot of easy points to them.”
Burrows finished the game with eight points, while Fleetwood and Sam Thompkins each had 10.
With the loss, the Mountain Lions’ playoff chances remain in limbo. Heading into the game, the team was ranked No. 26, while the top 24 teams advance to play in the sectional tournament.
“Tucson was well behind us leading into this game, so I don’t know what tonight’s game will do to our chances,” said Parillo.