SPARKS — Tom Van Kempen made sure his Mountain View Saints remembered what was at stake Friday night.
If they get another easy layup, Van Kempen reminded his team with about three minutes to play in their Class 1A girls state tournament semifinal game at Spanish Springs High School, it’s no ice cream.
No ice cream?
“We didn’t want that to happen,” said senior guard Randall Van Kempen, the coach’s daughter.
The Saints didn’t allow Eureka another easy layup and went on to breeze to a 49-32 victory.
Mountain View, in the state championship game for the first time in school history, will meet Owyhee at 6:40 tonight at Lawlor Events Center.
“This is so exciting,” said Randall Van Kempen, who scored a game-high 21 points. “We’re going to the state finals for the first time. That’s all that matters.”
What about the ice cream?
“After our last practice every year, I usually treat the girls to ice cream,” Tom Van Kempen said. “This year, though, I told them, ‘No ice cream unless you win state.’ “
The Vandals cut Mountain View’s lead to 42-29 with 2:40 left. But the Saints refused to let the game slip away, sealing the victory at the free-throw line. Van Kempen and Ellie Markwardt combined to make 13 of 15 free throws in the fourth quarter.
• Owyhee 60, Pahranagat Valley 56 — Holly Thomas scored a game-high 28 points to lead the Braves past the Panthers in overtime.
Owyhee rallied from a 49-39 deficit with 4:50 left to force the extra period. Thomas’ putback basket tied the game at 53 with 28 seconds left in regulation.
The Braves never trailed in overtime.
Thomas’ jumper with 29 seconds to play gave Owyhee a 57-54 lead. A steal and a layup by Tina Gallardo with 14 seconds left pushed the margin to 60-56.
Jessi Canning led Pahranagat with 12 points on four 3-pointers, and Lauren Leavitt and Higbee each scored 11.
• Lake Mead 69, Owyhee 48 — Jared Dean scored 13 of his 24 points in the first quarter as the Eagles opened a 22-8 lead and went on to defeat the Braves in the semifinals.
Lake Mead will meet Trinity at 8:20 tonight for the Class 1A boys state title at Lawlor.
The Eagles’ defense set the tone for the easy victory. Owyhee shot just 35 percent (18-for-51).
“Defense is definitely the key to what we do,” Lake Mead coach Jeff Newton said. “Our defense is always our best offense.”
Landon Littlefield added 16 points for the Eagles, who took a 57-37 lead into the final quarter.
Darin Gallardo led Owyhee with 15 points, all on 3-pointers.
• Trinity 42, Pyramid Lake 32 — Travis Kersenbrock scored a team-high 10 points and the Thunder’s defense suffocated the Lakers in the other semifinal.
Pyramid Lake pulled within 35-32 with 1:25 left on a 3-pointer by DaWayne Plummer. But Trinity outscored the Lakers 7-0 the rest of the way.
Raphael Roberts’ layup gave the Thunder a 37-32 lead with 1:05 left. Budweiser Hawkins had a layup and a free throw for a 40-32 lead with 48 seconds left.
Trinity never trailed, despite scoring just five points in the second quarter.
Roberts and Osato Igeleke each scored eight for the Thunder.