95°F
weather icon Clear

3A Girls: Pirates switch defenses, win region title

Moapa Valley’s girls basketball team had only about 30 minutes to completely switch its defense.

After winning a Class 3A Southern Region semifinal Saturday, the Pirates couldn’t practice Sunday and had only a short walk-through before facing Boulder City on Monday.

Talk about a quick study.

Moapa Valley played an aggressive, helping man-to-man defense to near perfection and topped the Eagles, 50-44 in the region final at Del Sol. Both teams advance to the state tournament, which begins Friday at Orleans Arena.

“I knew if I had another chance at them, I was just going to play man,” said Moapa Valley coach Brandon Jones, whose team lost twice to the Eagles in Sunrise League play. “Even though we weren’t able to practice, we went through all of their offense, and the girls just played their butts off on the defensive end.”

The Pirates (20-9) played mostly a zone defense in their win over Pahrump Valley on Saturday, and because state rules prohibit Sunday practices, Moapa Valley had little time to work through the defensive change.

Still, the Pirates forced 14 turnovers in the first three quarters and turned those into 12 points. They limited Boulder City 6-foot center Ellie Howard to just seven shots and still managed to disrupt the Eagles’ perimeter shooters.

“We knew that we needed to step up,” said Moapa Valley junior Kaitlyn Anderson. “We just ran our hearts out and played as hard as we could. I was tired of Boulder beating us.”

Anderson was fantastic on both ends of the floor, scoring 16 of her 22 points in the second half and grabbing eight rebounds. Her drive to the basket with 2:30 left in the fourth quarter halted a 5-0 Boulder City run and upped the Pirates’ lead to 42-37.

“Kaitlyn is amazing,” Jones said. “She does everything for us. She’s our best defender, and she made it difficult for them to start their offense.”

Lainey Cornwall’s driving hoop 40 seconds later had the Pirates starting to celebrate. Cornwall finished with 13 points.

Moapa Valley will face Lowry (17-10) in the state semifinals at 2:30 p.m. Friday.

“This was very important,” Anderson said. “Now we’re the top seed, and we know the northern teams are really good. This gives us a better chance of playing on Saturday.”

Madison Manns led Boulder City with 11 points. Keely Alexander had nine points for the Eagles (21-8), who will meet Northern Region champion Churchill County (24-2) in the semifinals at 11 a.m. Friday.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
 
2019 Best of Nevada Preps Awards — VIDEO

Find out the winners of the male and female athletes of the year, the coach and team of the year, winners of each sport’s athlete and coach of the year, and two special awards.

St. John’s edges Centennial in GEICO Nationals semifinal

Azzi Fudd hit a game-tying jumper with 45 seconds to play then hit the winning free throws with 8.3 seconds left to lift the second-ranked Cadets to a 63-61 win over the Bulldogs in New York City.

2019 GEICO Nationals tournament glance

The schedules and results (when available) for the GEICO Nationals boys and girls tournaments are here.

NIAA to re-evaluate rule allowing appeals of forfeits

The association’s board of control voted Wednesday to have staff write a proposal and survey member schools to possibly strike the ability for teams that use an ineligible to appeal any forfeits.

Commentary: NIAA absolutely must change ‘Contribution to Victory’ rule

The Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association will hold its spring meeting Wednesday and Thursday, when at some point this will be addressed: Review of “Contribution to Victory” Rule Regarding Forfeits — For Possible Action.

Class 3A: Moapa Valley comes up just short in title bid

The Pirates’ remarkable run to the Class 3A state tournament final came up one shot short Saturday in a 45-42 loss to Churchill County at Orleans Arena. It was the Greenwave’s third consecutive state championship.

2A Girls: Incline uses height advantage to top Lions

The Highlanders used a big rebounding edge and some timely 3-point shooting to earn a 55-44 victory over Calvary Chapel in a Class 2A state semifinal at Eldorado.