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High school boys basketball: Timpview’s undefeated start to region continues with win over Mountain Ridge



To a casual fan checking the scores from around the state, Timpview’s 67-53 win over Mountain Ridge may have the appearance of an easy, routine win for the Thunderbirds, but there really is no such thing in Region 7.

In fact, Timpview head coach Kevin Santiago came out of the win with one main feeling: a feeling of gratitude.

“Anytime you get a win in this region you’ve got to be grateful for it,” said Santiago. “Every single one of the teams is tough.”

Region 7 features three of the top five ranked 5A teams and while Mountain Ridge isn’t one of those teams, it certainly gave Timpview a greater challenge than the final score may indicate.

Through much of the first half the Sentinels, led by sophomore forward Jackson Moller, looked to be the team that was in control of the tempo.

Mountain Ridge excelled at getting to the rim off of the dribble drive and Moller, who finished with a team-high 13 points, did most of his damage in the first half.

After the somewhat rough start, Timpview adjusted and responded with a 10-0 run stretching from the end of the second quarter into the beginning of the third.

Santiago said his team started slow on the defensive end, but he was proud of the way his team bounced back from the poor defensive first quarter by allowing just eight points in the second quarter.

“We locked in, upped our intensity, really focused on being more aggressive on our man, and made an effort to keep them from getting into the middle,” said Santiago.

“Jake was awesome tonight, getting to the rim and setting the tone, and Jax was just a dagger from three,” said Santiago.

After scoring 16 points for Timpview in his last two games combined, Jaxon Santiago’s 21 points were a signal of the depth that the Thunderbirds boast on offense.

Kevin Santiago says this depth is one of the biggest strengths on the team. “If teams try to stop one guy, we’ve really got six or seven guys who can score. So when we’re moving the ball and passing it well — like we were in the second half of this game — it really makes us hard to stop.”

The strong second half, which saw Timpview outscore Mountain ridge 37-26, was given its finishing touch when Wahlin drove home a two handed slam off of a baseline inbounds play.

The 14-point loss was Mountain Ridge’s biggest loss of the season, another testament to the solid season that the Sentinels have had thus far and the potential of the Thunderbird’s squad.

But even after the win and the undefeated start to region play, Santiago says that Timpview, the preseason favorites to win the region, are not listening much to what others have to say.

“What other people say about you externally doesn’t really matter,” Santiago affirmed. “We’re just going to try and keep our focus on the next play and playing as hard as we can.”

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