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LV HOLIDAY CLASSIC: ‘Self-motivated’ Bulldogs roll into semifinals

Centennial’s girls basketball team had plenty of chances to just relax Tuesday.

The Bulldogs’ competitive nature wouldn’t let them.

Playing with half a team after splitting its squad into two to fill an open spot in its own Las Vegas Holiday Classic tournament, Centennial scored the first 22 points of the game and cruised to an 81-34 win over Lakeside (Calif.) in a quarterfinal game.

“It’s a group that is pretty self-motivated,” Centennial coach Karen Weitz said. “They’re pretty competitive. When situations come up, they set rules and they set the conditions, and I haven’t had that in a while. I haven’t had people that really want to be that competitive. I didn’t think that existed in the world any more.”

Centennial built a quick 22-0 lead before Emma Merriweather got the Lancers on the board with 4 minutes, 35 seconds to play in the first quarter.

The Bulldogs (12-1) ran the lead to 60-20 at the half and to 69-20 in the third quarter.

Samantha Thomas had 18 points for the Bulldogs, who hit seven 3-pointers in the first half.

Justice Ethridge had four 3-pointers and finished with 17 points for Centennial.

“Two of the things she worked on this spring and summer were getting to the basket and rebounding,” Weitz said of Ethridge. “As a guard, she can rebound. She’s really coachable. Whatever you ask her to do, she’ll just say ‘OK,’ and then she turns around and does it.”

Jayden Eggleston scored 15 points, and Bailey Thomas had 11 points for Centennial, which also got 10 points from Melanie Isbell.

The Bulldogs are using the first seven players in their rotation as their main team in the tournament and the next seven as a second squad to fill in a spot vacated by Channel Islands (Calif.).

Marissa Williams led Lakeside with nine points.

Lakeside (Calif.) 67, Desert Pines 33 — Triann Thompson and Jolene Armendariz each had 14 points as the Lancers topped the Jaguars in the opening round of bracket play.

Tavian Lasley added 12 points for Lakeside, which started the game on a 19-1 run.

Jordan Bailey led Desert Pines with 12 points.

Centennial JV 61, Palo Verde 51 — Lauren Welch and Eboni Walker each scored 15 points to lead the Bulldogs’ second unit over the Panthers in the opening round of bracket play.

Tylise Taylor added 10 points for Centennial.

Brooklyn Cruz scored 18 points, and Paulina Silcox added 12 points for Palo Verde.

West Torrance (Calif.) 60, Valley 30 — Lani Lum had 14 points as the Warriors ran away from the Vikings in the opening round of bracket play.

Sandra Scroggins paced Valley with 12 points.

Highland (Ariz.) 36, Las Vegas 14 — Anna Grone led a balanced attack with seven points as the Hawks topped the Wildcats in the opening round of bracket play.

Alexa Hancock and Tatum Thomas each had six points for Highland, which led 28-1 at the half.

Bianca Matlock had seven points for Las Vegas, which hit its first field goal with 10.8 seconds left in the third quarter.

Bonita (Calif.) 32, Las Vegas 26 — Taylor Riggs’ 3-pointer with 4:24 left in the game started a game-ending 9-2 run that lifted the Bearcats over the Wildcats in a consolation game.

Alyssa Ono had nine points for Bonita.

Matlock led Las Vegas with 10 points.

Reno 49, Desert Oasis 33 — Mallory McGwire had nine of her 13 points in the first half as the Huskies topped the Diamondbacks in the opening round of bracket play.

Dominique Harding added 12 points, and Daranda Hinkey scored 11 for Reno.

Mikala Kirby had 16 points, and Ashlynn Sharp scored 11 for Desert Oasis.

Desert Oasis 67, Valley 26 — Kirby scored 19 points, and the Diamondbacks raced to a 45-14 halftime lead and downed the Vikings in a consolation game.

Taryn Lampkin added 11 points for Desert Oasis.

Sydney Starks had six points for Valley.

Palo Verde 56, Desert Pines 36 — Cruz had 20 points to lead the Panthers by the Jaguars in a consolation game.

Silcox added 18 points for Palo Verde.

See’Airrah Evans-Collins led Desert Pines with 10 points.

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