Green Valley girls basketball coach Rey White knew that his team might have a rough start.
The Gators played four of Nevada’s top six teams in their first five games and went 1-4.
But the difficult early schedule might start paying dividends. When adversity came against Class 3A Boulder City on Wednesday, Green Valley had the answers en route to a 57-38 nonleague home victory.
“We knew it would be challenging in the early going,” White said. “But we purposely set up a tougher nonconference schedule. We wanted to be challenged.”
It didn’t look as if Boulder City would add to the challenge. The Gators scored the first 10 points and led 20-3 after one quarter. Only Keely Alexander’s 3-pointer for the Eagles with 3:35 left in the first quarter broke up the run.
The second eight minutes completely changed.
The Eagles made four of five free throws in the first five minutes of the second quarter and got two 3-pointers from Madison Manns to pull within 20-15 with 1:10 left in the first half. Michelle Lagunas-Monroy hit a 3-pointer for Green Valley as time ran out in the half for a 23-15 lead.
The Gators’ offense then took off in the second half.
“I thought we just had to get each other going,” said senior guard Amore Espino, who scored 12 of her 14 points in the second half. “We played as a team in the second half.”
Lagunas-Monroy also scored 14 for the Gators (2-4). Manns had a game-high 15 points for Boulder City (5-4).
Green Valley built leads of 19 points three times in the second half, including the final score when Nyla Rodriguez made a 3-pointer with 25 seconds left.
“The thing I have to remember is that these girls are young,” said White, in his first season as coach. “I only have two seniors. And the goal isn’t how we look tonight. Hopefully, we made some progress tonight.”