BOISE — Connie Skogrand had the place to celebrate already picked out.
The Mountain View girls basketball coach’s team just needed to do its part. The No. 1 Mavericks did just that with a win over No. 5 Timberline in the 5A District III semifinals Saturday at Timberline High School.
The win keeps Mountain View(22-0) unbeaten, in its first district championship game in three years and back at state for the seventh straight year.
“We’re going to Dairy Queen. I’m a little old fashioned. But I am a mother,” Skogrand laughed. “But getting back to business, the relief is we’re back at state. I think in my mind, this is the hardest game to play because you win, you go to state, you lose, you have to go around the back side. But we don’t have to worry about that now, so it feels good.”
Naya Ojukwu nearly recorded a double-double with 20 points and 9 rebounds. Darian White and Trinity Slocum also reached double figures in scoring with 17 and 12 points, respectively, for the Mavericks, who took over in the fourth quarter.
After clinging to a 41-36 lead going into the final period of play, a lay-in by Slocum jump started a 9-0 Mountain View run. The run was capped by a layup by Ojukwu with 2:30 remaining. The Wolves (16-6) didn’t get any closer than 11 the rest of the way.
"I think we just relaxed a little bit," White said. "It was a big game and there is a lot of pressure on us still. So it gets to our heads sometimes, but we stood together and supported each other from start to finish and got it done when we needed to."
Ava Ranson scored a game-high 26 points for Timberline, which led on four separate occasions in the first half. The last of which was 15-14 at the 5:36 mark of the second quarter.
But a 3-pointer by Emma Anthony gave the Mavericks the lead for good at 24-21 with 45 seconds left in the first half.
The Wolves will play Rocky Mountain at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Eagle High School in a winner to state game.
Mountain View plays No. 3 Eagle (19-4) for the 5A District III Championship at 7 p.m. Friday at Timberline High School.
"We're just going to enjoy this right now," Skogrand said. "I think my girls have earned that. But when Monday rolls around, we'll get after it."