The varsity basketball team is set to take on rival high school ThunderRidge tonight, Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. in the Vista main gym.
Vista is coming to the game off two losses in a row to Douglas County and Regis Jesuit.
ThunderRidge, on the other hand, is on a five-game win streak taking down both Doug Co and Regis as well as Legend, Chaparral and Ponderosa.
The momentum could work to ThunderRidge’s advantage, but it’s also speculative that a repeat of last years upset will carry out tonight.
In the past six years, Vista has won five varsity basketball match ups against ThunderRidge.
The 2015 game resulted in Vista (No. 8) defeating ThunderRidge (No. 1), 56-45. This win came even with senior captain Ray Beresford riding the bench with an injury. Tonight’s game will also miss one of the captains as junior Isaac Essien is out with a concussion.
Going into the game, Vista tops TR in rebounds (32 to 29.4) and steals (9.3 to 6.8) per game. The average scoring of the two teams is also extremely similar, with TR and Vista both coming in at 67 points per game.
Captains junior Jake Belknapp and senior Trey Boeyink are sure to shine in the game. Belknapp is currently carrying over 17 points per game. Boeyink came in later in the season after transferring from Mullen to break Mountain Vista’s individual points-per-game record at 37 points during a double-digit win over Fairview. He’s now averaging 15.6 points per game.
Sophomore Connor Staib is another asset that may enable an Eagle victory. With 10.5 points per game and the highest three-point percentage on the court, Staib has proven the strength of the team despite its youth.
Working against the Golden Eagles is the less impressive record (15-7 against TR’s 19-3) and low state-ranking of 27th.
Despite the shaky record, Vista has continually performed better in a student-driven environment throughout the season. The MV Unit has had a huge impact cheering on and supporting the Eagles, leading to more wins on home turf (8-2) than away (4-5).
So while ThunderRidge may have the upper-hand when it comes to state rankings, the environment of this game could be enough to push Vista into a winning position and increase the chances of a playoff run.
MVM Prediction: Vista takes the W, 65-62.
Don’t forget that this game is for Marlee! Be sure to bring donation money for the Miracle Minute.
Stay tuned to VistaNow.org and check us out on Twitter (@Vista_Now), The Cube (Mountain Vista High School) and Snapchat (@Vista_Now) for play-by-play and commentary of tonight’s game.