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GATOR CLASSIC: Spring Valley fades in second half, falls in quarterfinals

Spring Valley’s girls basketball team usually is the one burying the opposition with a late-game run.

The Grizzlies got a taste of their own medicine Thursday.

Spring Valley allowed a 25-2 run over the third and fourth quarters and paid for it with a 63-38 loss to Dimond (Alaska) in the quarterfinals of the Gator Winter Classic Diamond Bracket at Green Valley.

Kayla Harris had 12 points to lead the Grizzlies, who are without leading scorer Essence Booker because of a knee injury.

“My girls played hard, and we had some girls that did step up,” Spring Valley coach Billy Hemberger said. “We have some of them that have a little more pressure on them, and we just haven’t really worked on it. It’s OK. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

Spring Valley missed 18 of its first 19 shots, but the Grizzlies led 22-20 at halftime and were ahead 33-30 when Bria Hardin-Davidson picked up a loose ball in the lane and scored with 2:41 left in the third quarter.

But Spring Valley was unable to contain Lynx forward Alissa Pili, who is rated one of the nation’s top players in the class of 2019.

Pili scored 18 of her 28 points in the second half and finished with 22 rebounds and four blocked shots.

Dimond scored the first 16 points of the fourth quarter, as Pili scored on a putback inside then made a 3-pointer to give the Lynx a 50-35 lead.

“I thought we had a very good game plan in the first half as far as how to neutralize her,” Hemberger said. “And I felt like because we weren’t scoring, we starting squeezing and pressing and just doing too much defensively and then you start missing those assignments. It’s going to affect you if you keep missing shot after shot after shot.

“That’s what really irritated me was that lackluster defensive effort, and it was because they weren’t scoring. But you’re only as good as who you can defend. That’s part of it. That’s the game.”

Seanne Bialo capped the run with a 3-pointer that put Dimond on top 55-35 with 3:25 remaining in the fourth.

Dimond went 13-for-17 from the free-throw line in the second half, including a 5-for-5 effort from Jahnna Hajdukovich (11 points). The Lynx finished with 21 turnovers after committing 16 in the first half against Spring Valley’s full-court pressure.

Ella Zanders had seven points and six rebounds, and Alyssa Scott added six points, but no other player scored more than three for the Grizzlies. Spring Valley finished 11-for-53 from the field.

“I talked to them Monday at practice and said, ‘Who do we want to be as far as a team? What is our identity? What are we looking for?’” Hemberger said. “There’s a lot of stagnant basketball, and the better teams are always the ones that have five players consistently moving. And getting that out of them, to have five players helping at all times, we’re still not there yet. That’s something we’re going to continue to build on.”

Liberty 60, Arroyo Valley (Calif.) 35 — Celine Quintino had 16 points, and Dre’una Edwards added 15 points in the Patriots’ victory over the Hawks in the Diamond Bracket quarterfinals.

London Pavlica added 12 points for Liberty, which meets Lawndale (California) in the semifinals at 12:45 p.m. Friday.

Liberty closed the first quarter on a 14-0 run and led by as many as 34 points in the second half.

Nay Nay Watkins had 14 points for Arroyo Valley, which had only six players suited up.

Downey (Calif.) 57, Foothill 49 — Rae Burrell had 14 of her 20 points in the second half, but the Falcons’ comeback attempt fell short against the Vikings in the Diamond Bracket quarterfinals.

Trinity Betoney added 13 points for Foothill, which struggled against the full-court pressure of the scrappy, undersized Vikings.

The Falcons trailed 27-21 before Downey closed the first half on an 11-0 run to take a 38-27 lead. Foothill was down by as many as 20 points in the second half and got as close as nine points on two occasions in the fourth quarter before Betoney’s 3-pointer with 2:24 remaining closed out the scoring.

Naelene Garcia had five of Downey’s seven 3-pointers and finished with 17 points. Danise Harrington and Lynette Garcia each had 10 points for the Vikings.

Green Valley 58, Needles 50 — Temerity Bauer had eight of her 13 points in the first half, and the Gators held off the Mustangs in the opening round of the Gold Bracket.

Brooke Haney added 10 points, and Mallory Davis scored nine for Green Valley.

The Gators drained seven 3-pointers, including four in the third quarter. Shelby Clark hit two of Green Valley’s 3s in the third.

Preslee Murch led Needles with 15 points. Brenna Chavez had 12 points for the Mustangs, and teammate Paige Murch added 10 points.

Moapa Valley 62, St. Mary’s Academy (Calif.) 39 — Kinlee Marshall poured in 25 points as the Pirates overcame a slow start to beat the Belles and advance to the Silver Bracket semifinals.

Kaila Enosa and Matilda Thompson each had 10 points for Moapa Valley.

The Pirates trailed 14-9 after the first quarter but outscored St. Mary’s 33-15 in the second half to pull away.

Devoni Hall had 13 points, and Imani McGregory scored 11 for the Belles.

Durango 38, Fountain Valley (Calif.) 34 — Dar’Juanah Harris had 10 points, and the Trailblazers rallied to defeat the Barons and reach the Silver Bracket semifinals.

Analiyah Matthews added nine points, and Rianne Lu scored eight for Durango, which used a 15-5 run in the third quarter to overturn a 21-13 halftime deficit.

Remi Chicoine led Fountain Valley with nine points.

Las Vegas 38, White Pine 33 — Jasmine Perez had eight of her 14 points in the second half, and the Wildcats held off the Bobcats to advance to the Silver Bracket semifinals.

Teconna Dyer added 10 points for Las Vegas, which benefitted from four 3-pointers and a 10-for-16 effort at the free-throw line.

Madison Rick had 10 points to lead White Pine.

Lathrop (Calif.) 55, Rancho 36 — Kyndal Ricks made four 3-pointers and finished with 27 points, but the Rams lost to the Spartans in the second round of the Silver Bracket.

Myani Thornton had 17 points, and Mary Cotton added 10 points for Lathrop, who outscored the Rams 30-16 in the second half to pull away.

Rancho 30, Boulder City 25 — Ricks had 12 points, and the Rams outlasted the Eagles in the Silver Bracket.

Alesse Hall added 11 first-half points for Rancho.

Madison Manns had seven points for Boulder City, which used a 12-3 run in the third quarter to climb within two points after trailing 23-12 at halftime.

Durango 42, Tech 37 — Harris had 16 of her 18 points in the second half, and the Trailblazers topped the Roadrunners in the Silver Bracket.

Harris scored 10 of her team’s 12 points in the fourth quarter to help Durango hold on.

Lu had 12 points, and Matthews added 10 points for the Trailblazers, who led 30-23 after three quarters.

Tayler Muwwakkil led Tech with 18 points.

Las Vegas 60, Fernley 50 — Dyer scored 11 of her 16 points in the second half, and the Wildcats defeated the Vaqueros in the opening round of the Silver Bracket.

Perez had 15 points, and Armonnie Byrd added 11 points for Las Vegas, which led 34-25 at halftime.

Grace DeLeon had 12 points, and Celeste Condie scored 11 to lead Fernley.

Moapa Valley 51, Del Sol 11 — Kaitlyn Anderson had all 13 of her points in the first quarter, and the Pirates routed the Dragons in the opening round of the Silver Bracket.

Macy Morgan added 10 points for Moapa Valley, which led 27-4 after the one quarter.

Ashanti Dickson led Del Sol with eight points.

White Pine 37, Silverado 19 — Rick had seven of her team-high 11 points in the second half, and the Bobcats bounced the Skyhawks in the opening round of the Silver Bracket.

Mikinley Prengel added eight points for White Pine, which pulled away in the second half after leading 17-11 at halftime.

Silverado’s Kimberlyn Tanner finished with 11 points, including eight in the second quarter.

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