Guard play has carried Lake Mead’s girls basketball team early this season.
Dominance in the post, however, enabled the Eagles to capture the Lake Mead Holiday Classic title Saturday.
Heather Hillenbrand had 14 points and 17 rebounds, Colleen Zumaran added 12 points and 10 rebounds, and the Eagles cruised to a 51-23 rout of Indian Springs in the tournament final at Calvary Chapel.
“It’s security for me as a coach knowing that if we’re off outside, we can look inside,” Lake Mead coach Derek Anderson said. “That’s a big security blanket.”
Lake Mead guards Jordan Clarke and Taylor Badua-Kono scored 12 and 11 points, respectively, but it was domination in the paint that made the difference for the Eagles (6-0).
“We’re not going to just rely on two or three players,” said Hillenbrand, a senior forward. “We know that all five on the court know what they’re doing at all times.”
Anderson said he was counting on his post players to pick up the slack because his guards might be tired from playing six games in three days.
“We went inside on purpose because we knew the outside wouldn’t be as much of an option,” he said. “(Hillenbrand and Zumaran) come to work every day, and when I say work, I mean ‘rebound.’ ”
Lake Mead also looked sharp defensively. The Eagles held Indian Springs (3-3) to single-digit scoring in each quarter and 10-for-57 shooting from the floor (17.5 percent).
The Eagles returned only two starters as they jumped to Class 2A this season, but after a 6-0 start Anderson has plenty to feel good about.
“We’re looking forward to the 2A, and all these things are just getting us ready for that,” he said. “The girls did everything we asked of them, and they got a championship for it.”
Clarke was named tournament MVP, and Hillenbrand and Badua-Kono were named to the all-tournament team.
Indian Springs’ Heather Thormahlen (nine points, two steals) and Karys Melgoza received all-tournament honors.
Calvary Chapel’s Deja Harris and Phallen Nelson rounded out the all-tournament team.
Lutheran (Calif.) 78, Calvary Chapel 56 — Lutheran sank 38 of 53 free throws to defeat the Lions in the third-place game.
Samantha Mann led Calvary Chapel with 12 points, and Nelson scored 10 for the Lions.
Indian Springs 39, Calvary Chapel 18 — Tessa Lounsbury had 14 points, and Alexxa Reinke scored 11 to lift the Thunderbirds past the Lions in the semifinals.
Lake Mead 49, Lutheran (Calif.) 37 — Clarke had 23 points, and Badua-Kono scored 11 to help the Eagles to victory in a semifinal.
Tyler Higbee added 18 points for the Panthers.
Hosier was named tournament MVP, and teammate Kade Wadsworth made the all-tournament team.
Ivan Maldonado led Beatty with 12 points.
Beatty’s Miky Gaitan and Anthony Turner were named to the all-tournament team.
Lincoln County 66, Pahrump Valley 53 — Dantley Walker hit five 3-pointers on his way to 30 points as the Lynx topped the Trojans in the third-place game.
Chandler Katschke scored 14 points and Ryan Rippetoe 11 for Lincoln County, which used a 16-6 edge in the fourth quarter to pull away.
Bret Kunzi led Pahrump with 16 points. Dajhan Celius added 13 points and Andrew White 10 for the Trojans.
Walker was named to the all-tournament team for Lincoln County, and Celius took all-tourney honors for Pahrump.
Lake Mead 40, Spring Mountain 33 — L.J. Yamzon scored 13 points to help Lake Mead past Spring Mountain.
Maurice Williams led Spring Mountain with seven points.
Yamzon and Spring Mountain’s Devante Rash were named to the all-tournament team.
Lincoln County 57, Calvary Chapel 18 — Walker scored 23 points, and Jordan Davis added 14 points to help the Lynx eliminate the Lions.
A.J. Davis led Calvary Chapel with nine points. The Lions’ Cody Taylor received all-tournament honors.