Mountain View girls surge into second

Mountain View girls basketball coach Kevin Estes acknowledged it was a big win for his players.

But he must love the fact that his players do not want to make it seem as if they are satisfied with this big win in the middle of the Class 3A Greater St. Helens League schedule.

“We try to go into every game like it’s the biggest game of the season,” Carly Holboke said. 

“So we’re always prepared,” added her older sister, Haley Holboke. 

Each scored 14 points Friday night, leading the Thunder to a start-to-finish 48-34 victory over Camas. Mountain View improved to 5-1 in league play, with Camas falling to 4-2.

Going into the season, most figured Prairie would re-assert itself as the best program in the region, and Camas would hope to carry over the momentum from last season, when the Papermakers beat Prairie in the district tournament. Mountain View, which showed a competitive spirit last season as a 4A team, was not really thought of as a top-two team in the 3A GSHL.

Now, the Thunder have to like where they stand.

“People never expect Mountain View,” Carly Holboke said. “We worked so hard in the offseason. We knew this was an opportunity.”

“We were really young last year, too, so we knew this was going to be a good season,” Haley Holboke said.

Estes, who is in his second year coaching the Thunder,  said things are on schedule.

“Last year, we wanted to be competitive every game, and I thought we’d learn a lot,” he said. “This year, we’re getting better every game.”

The win over Camas was no fluke. True, Melissa Williams, The Columbian’s All-Region player of the year last season, went down with a knee injury. But that was late in the third quarter, with Mountain View already ahead by 13 points.

In fact, this game was only close a couple of times.

Mountain View scored the first eight points of the game, then ended the first quarter with a flurry of points. Carly Holboke buried a long 3-pointer to beat the first-quarter horn for a 15-2 lead. Mountain View forced eight turnovers in the period and was 6 of 8 from the floor.

“I was very pleased with how well we came out,” Estes said. “I did not expect that.”

The trick was keeping that lead. The Thunder did just that.

“We couldn’t let up,” Carly Holboke said. “Last year, we’d let up if we had a big lead.”

“We’ve matured as a team,” Haley Holboke said. “So that does not happen anymore.”

Camas cut the deficit to eight points in the second quarter but Mountain View had an answer, going into the locker room up 12 at the break. Camas got going again a bit in the third quarter, getting to within eight points twice. But the Thunder quickly responded. Carly Holboke’s steal and coast-to-coast lay-up at the end of the period made it a 12-point game again.

Katie Dean, who opened the game’s scoring with an offensive rebound and put-back basket, did the same thing to open the fourth quarter. It was almost as if it were a sign, that there was no way Mountain View was going to lose this lead. Dean finished with nine points and seven rebounds.

There was no magic run for the Papermakers in the final eight minutes.

Kendra Preuninger led Camas with 14 points — the only Papermaker in double figures.

This night belonged to Mountain View, a team on the rise that showed it belonged Friday night.

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