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GATOR CLASSIC: Liberty overwhelms Galena, tops pool

Liberty girls basketball coach Chad Kapanui has stressed to his team the importance of taking every game seriously.

Even the ones in the back gym with only first place in a tournament pool at stake.

Dre’una Edwards finished with 23 points and seven rebounds, and the Patriots rolled to a 66-18 victory over Galena on Wednesday to finish atop Pool A at the Gator Winter Classic at Green Valley.

“We’re playing every game like it’s a championship game,” Kapanui said. “It doesn’t matter who we’re playing. I think the girls are focused on that, and I think that’s why we’ve been successful so far.”

Celine Quintino had nine points and four assists, and London Pavlica added eight points, four assists and four steals for Liberty, which will meet Arroyo Valley (California) in the Diamond Bracket quarterfinals at 2 p.m. Thursday.

Pavlica capped an early 12-0 run with an acrobatic scoop shot through traffic, and the Patriots went on a 16-0 burst that stretched across the first and second quarters to go up 32-9.

Quintino fooled a Grizzlies defender with an old-school shot-fake before scoring to open the second quarter. Edwards then blocked a shot and dribbled coast-to-coast before finding Pavlica on the fast break for a layup as part of the latter run.

“I feel we do more coaching in this kind of game,” Kapanui said. “We try to get better offensively and defensively. We pick on the little things, so we gain a lot from a game like this. (Galena) is a good team, and the girls played hard.”

Amanda Pemberton added seven points and eight rebounds for Liberty. The Patriots led 44-15 at halftime and held Galena scoreless in the third quarter to go up 57-15.

Nine of the 10 players suited up for the Patriots scored. Liberty still is without senior guard Kaily Kaimikaua, who has missed the past six games because of injury.

“The one benefit is since we don’t have Kaily playing right now because of injury, it’s helping us in this tournament because now we have more people stepping up and they’ve got to take control,” Kapanui said. “We’re looking for that sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth player (in the rotation), and so far we’ve found a couple. That’s why this tournament is great for us.”

Kristin Farrell led Galena with 10 points.

Liberty 65, White Pine 17 — Edwards and Pavlica each had 14 points, and the Patriots ran away from the Bobcats in pool play.

Quintino added 13 points for Liberty.

The Patriots led only 14-7 after the first quarter but outscored the two-time defending Class 2A state champions 47-9 in the middle quarters, including a 23-2 run in the second.

Hailey Ernest and Madison Rick led White Pine with five points apiece.

White Pine 46, Del Sol 15 — Rick had nine points, and the Bobcats opened the game on a 22-3 run en route to a win over the Dragons.

Ernest and Maryn VanTassell added eight points apiece for White Pine.

Alyssa Davis led Del Sol with eight points.

Galena 61, Del Sol 6 — Josie Peck scored 16 of her 19 points in the first half, and Mickenzie Stretch had 12 points in the Grizzlies’ blowout win over the Dragons in pool play.

Farrell added 10 points for Galena, which saw nine of its 10 players score.

Alena Vaoga led Del Sol with five points.

Lawndale (Calif.) 56, Green Valley 55 — Alisha Robinson banked in a 15-foot jumper with 8.1 seconds remaining to help the Cardinals outlast the Gators and finish atop Pool F.

Brooke Haney finished with 28 points in her first game since injuring her ankle in the season opener on Nov. 29 and nearly led Green Valley back from a nine-point deficit in the final 4:18.

Haney was fouled on a 3-pointer and made all three free throws to cut Lawndale’s lead to 54-53 with 40.4 seconds remaining. After the Gators forced a turnover, Haney was fouled in transition and made both foul shots to put Green Valley ahead 55-54 with 22.6 seconds left.

Lawndale’s Zyaire Nelson missed a short jumper with 12 seconds to go and Jamaica Lewis grabbed the defensive rebound but couldn’t maintain her balance and was called for traveling. Robinson caught the inbounds pass at the right elbow and hit the go-ahead basket for her only points of the game.

Green Valley quickly pushed the ball up court to Haney, but she was tied up before being able to get off a final shot attempt. The Cardinals were given the ball on the alternating possession and were able to run out the final 1.4 seconds.

Samara Miller had 10 points for Green Valley, which trailed most of the way after being outscored 15-6 in the first quarter.

Rejinae Crandell led Lawndale with 20 points. Nelson finished with 15 points, and Jazzmin Oddie added 13 points for the Cardinals.

Green Valley 65, Lathrop (Calif.) 48 — Lewis led four players in double-figures with 16 points, and the Gators used a big fourth quarter to top the Spartans in the final pool game.

Miller had 11 of her 14 points in the fourth quarter as Green Valley outscored Lathrop 29-13. Haney added 14 points, and Amy Amezcua scored 11 for the Gators.

Green Valley opened the game on a 13-2 run but only led 36-35 after three quarters.

The Gators were 8-for-10 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter and went 19-for-28 overall. Lathrop was hurt by a 9-for-21 effort from the foul line.

Mary Cotton led the Spartans with 18 points.

Foothill 67, Mainland (New Zealand) 65 — Rae Burrell scored 27 points, including the tiebreaking basket with 10 seconds remaining in overtime, as the Falcons edged the Eagles to finish atop Pool C.

Burrell knocked down a 15-foot jumper shortly after Mainland’s Lauryn Hippolite drove the lane and scored with 18 seconds to go to tie the score at 65.

Amiee Book opened the overtime with a 3-pointer to put Mainland on top 63-60, but the Falcons answered with a 5-0 spurt. Aqui Williams made two free throws with 48.2 seconds, and Trinity Betoney made two free throws with 24.6 seconds left following a steal by Burrell to put Foothill ahead 65-63.

Foothill led 47-41 late in the third quarter until the Eagles reeled off a 12-5 run to go ahead 53-52 with 3:40 left in regulation. Burrell hit a step-back jumper to put the Falcons up 58-56, and after Book’s 3-pointer gave Mainland a 60-58 lead with 1:37 left, Burrell put back her own miss with eight seconds to send the game to overtime.

Betoney finished with 15 points, and Kylie Vint added 11 points for the Falcons.

Book had 19 of her 31 points after halftime and made four 3-pointers to lead Mainland. Hippolite finished with 19 points for the Eagles.

Rancho 35, Durango 31 — Kyndal Ricks had 15 points, and the Rams held off the Trailblazers to close out pool play.

Rancho led 31-24 in the fourth quarter before the Trailblazers responded with a 7-0 run to tie the game. Ricks converted a three-point play with 59.9 seconds left to give the Rams a 34-31 lead and then made 1 of 2 free throws with 1.4 seconds to seal the victory.

Alesse Hall and Courtney Plumer each added eight points for Rancho, which outscored the Trailblazers 14-5 in the second quarter to go up 20-16 at halftime.

Rianne Lu led Durango with 14 points, and Analiyah Matthews had four of her eight points in the fourth quarter to spark the Trailblazers’ comeback.

Spring Valley 54, Chugiak (Alaska) 49 — Bria Hardin-Davidson finished with 12 points, and the Grizzlies pulled away in the fourth quarter to defeat the Mustangs and finish atop Pool E.

Alyssa Scott added 11 points, and Lynnae Wilds scored 10 for Spring Valley, which played without leading scorer Essence Booker (knee injury).

The teams were tied at 37 entering the fourth quarter, but the Grizzlies got key contributions from Deja McDonald and Myra Tadytin to earn the victory.

McDonald and Tadytin each had five of their seven points in the fourth quarter when the Grizzlies outscored Chugiak 17-12.

Kayla Harris finished with seven points, nine assists, four steals and three blocked shots for Spring Valley.

Nicole Pinckney led Chugiak with 12 points but was held scoreless in the fourth quarter.

Moapa Valley 56, Las Vegas 48 — Kinlee Marshall finished with a game-high 17 points, and the Pirates held off the Wildcats to cap pool play.

Lainey Cornwall added nine points for Moapa Valley.

The Pirates led 27-25 at halftime, but Marshall had nine points in the second half to help Moapa Valley extend its lead.

Madison Bush had six of her eight points after halftime, and Kaitlyn Anderson scored all seven of her points in the second half for the Pirates.

Jasmine Perez led Las Vegas with 14 points. Teconna Dyer and Dyonne Peterson each had 10 points for the Wildcats.

Spanish Springs 48, Needles 42 — Anhelica Shanrock had all of her 14 points in the first half, and the Cougars clinched the top spot in Pool B with a win over the Mustangs in a back-and-forth game.

Paige Murch led Needles with 14 points, including 12 in the second half. Brenna Chavez and Preslee Murch each added nine points for the Mustangs.

Spanish Springs used a 20-5 run in the second quarter to take a 26-17 lead at halftime before the Mustangs responded in the third quarter. Paige Murch was 6-for-8 from the free-throw line in the third, and Needles went on a 14-5 run to tie the game at 31 heading into the final quarter.

Ireland Bennett had 12 points and was 4-for-5 from the foul line in the fourth quarter for Spanish Springs.

Tech 56, Silverado 35 — Tayler Muwwakkil had 29 points, and the Roadrunners routed the Skyhawks to complete pool play.

Patrice Thomas added 10 points for Tech, which led 35-17 at halftime.

Sidni Wise-Wright led Silverado with 12 points. Jessica Guzman had nine points, and Brielen Aquino scored eight for the Skyhawks.

Spanish Springs 56, Tech 26 — Thomas had nine points in the Roadrunners’ loss to the Cougars.

Tech trailed only 15-11 after the first quarter but was outscored 21-5 in the second quarter and went without a field goal in the fourth.

Amidori Anderson, Alysa Dominguez and Shanrock each had 10 points to lead Spanish Springs’ balanced scoring attack.

Flagstaff (Ariz.) 53, Boulder City 26 — Julia Worrall had eight points in the pool play loss for Boulder City.

Monique Ware finished with 13 points to lead a balanced scoring attack for Flagstaff, which had 10 of its 11 players score at least two points.

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