The Mohave T-birds’ quest for their first Arizona state basketball championship in 10 years ended in heartbreak on Friday morning in Prescott Valley. The boys varsity team dropped their opening round game against Horizon Honors at Bradshaw Mountain High School, 48-46.
Mohave had several opportunities to tie or win the game in the final seconds. Sophomore Joe Heath put up the final shot from beyond the arc, but the 3pt shot bounced off the rim, ending Mohave’s season.
Mohave had trailed by seven points heading into the final quarter. A fierce defensive effort pressured the Eagles into several mistakes which lead to points for the T-birds. Mohave outscored Horizon , 14-9 in the final quarter.
The T-birds were also hindered by fouls, but Horizon couldn’t capitalize at the charity stripe. Horizon was only 14/27 at the free throw line. On the other end, Mohave shot 70 percent from the line.
Lonnie Langston led Mohave in scoring with 14 points. Heath scored 10 and Tyler Clark added 9pts by hitting three shots from long distance, including the opening score.
“We had a great season,” an emotional coach Jeff Thomas said after the game. “I’m very proud of this team and I feel sorry for them because they worked so hard together.”
“It was tough early in the season but we finished winning 12 of our last 13 and the boys just began to click as a team,” Thomas added. “I just feel so bad for them right now.”
Mohave entered the state tournament as the 17th ranked team. Horizon Honors was ranked 16th. The Eagles advanced to take on #1 Yuma Catholic.