weather icon Clear

Defense keys Spring Valley win over Gorman

For a little more than five minutes at the start of the second half Wednesday, Spring Valley’s girls basketball team couldn’t get out of its own way on offense.

Fortunately for the Grizzlies, their defense never took a break.

Despite a scoreless stretch of more than five minutes in the third quarter, Spring Valley still cruised to a 60-42 win at Bishop Gorman, keeping the Grizzlies alive in the race for the Southwest League title.

“I’ve coached a lot of really good teams. This was the most locked in that I’ve seen a team,” Spring Valley coach Billy Hemberger said. “I felt like we just played all on the same page. They were just so dialed in.”

The Grizzlies’ aggressive defense forced Gorman into 25 turnovers and held the Gaels to 17-for-45 shooting (37.8 percent). Spring Valley (14-5, 5-2 Southwest) scored 22 points off of Gorman turnovers.

Spring Valley also attacked well on offense in the first half, scoring nine of its 10 first-half baskets in the paint, and making 16 of 18 free throws to grab a 37-27 halftime lead.

“It all starts on the defensive end,” Hemberger said. “We talked about coming out strong and not waiting for things to happen. We wanted to dictate the tempo, and I thought we did a really good job of that.”

But the Grizzlies had trouble when Gorman (13-3, 6-1) switched to a zone defense to start the second half. Spring Valley missed its first seven shots, went 0-for-4 from the free-throw line and had three turnovers before Deja McDonald’s left-wing 3-pointer with 2:49 left in the quarter broke the drought.

Gorman, though, couldn’t take advantage of the Spring Valley scoreless stretch, scoring three points on 1-for-10 shooting in the third quarter.

Garrisen Freeman scored 16 points to lead Spring Valley, which moved to within a game of Gorman and Desert Oasis for first place in the Southwest. Alexus Quaadman added 14 points and 14 rebounds, and Aaliyah Gayles scored 11 for the Grizzlies. Freeman and Gayles did not play when the Gaels defeated Spring Valley in the teams’ Southwest League opener.

“Our bench has done a really good job of weathering the storm,” Hemberger said. “Our best basketball is still ahead of us. At the end of the day, I wouldn’t want to play us (in the postseason).”

Georgia Ohiaeri led Gorman with 11 points.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
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.