Just a couple of days ago, Cheyenne girls basketball coach Diane Washington was getting her team ready for Christmas.
That was, until she got a call from the tournament organizers for the Tarkanian Classic.
Now, the Desert Shields are busy playing ball. On Wednesday, Cheyenne came in and beat Durango, 47-35, to stay in the winner’s bracket of the Premier Division being played at Liberty High in Henderson.
“We were on the waiting list,” said Washington, in her first year as a head coach since she retired from the Mojave job in 2002. “I’m just laughing at it because we didn’t know what to expect. They called me two days ago.”
The spot opened up when Durango’s original opponent, Desert Pines, decided not to play.
So the Desert Shields (4-3) did.
Cheyenne jumped out to an early 15-5 lead on the Trailblazers, thanks in large part to four 3-pointers made in the first seven minutes of the game. The Desert Shields made six in total during the game.
While Cheyenne was making its long shots, Durango couldn’t buy a basket. The Trailblazers made just two field goals the entire first half, trailed by as many as 19 points, 28-9 with 1:06 to go before halftime, and only really made a run to get close to the 10-point mark with a 6-0 spurt to close out the game.
Even during that run, the Trailblazers missed 8 of 10 free throws. Laila Loring did have a game-high 18 points to lead Durango.
Jennifer Quintana and Germanie White each had 11 to pace Cheyenne.
Coronado 54, Snow Canyon (Utah) 42 — At Liberty, Sade Williams scored 13 of her game-high 21 points in the second half as the Cougars held off the Warriors in the Ruby Division.
Haley Morton added 12 points for Coronado.
Tylei Jensen scored 16 points to lead Snow Canyon.
Shadow Ridge 45, Jordan (Utah) 38 — At Liberty, Amaia McCoy and Nadia Morales led a balanced attack with nine points each as the Mustangs held off the Beetdiggers in a Premier Division game.
Emily Moss scored 16 points to lead Jordan, which also got 10 points from Maile Afoa.
Liberty 41, American Fork (Utah) 30 — At Liberty, Robin Walker scored all 11 of her points in the second half to help the Patriots pull away from the Cavemen.
Journie Augmon added 11 points for Liberty, which led 12-8 at halftime.
Addison Holmstead led American Fork with 11 points.
Desert Oasis 53, Vanden (Calif.) 40 — At Durango, Desi-Rae Young led four players in double figures with 13 points as the Diamondbacks beat the Vikings in the Diamond Division.
Eliyjah Pricebrooks added 12 points, and Sierra Mich’l and Brianna Clark each scored 10 for Desert Oasis, which led 21-12 at the half.
Freshman Jiana Creswell scored 19 second-half points and hit five 3-pointers for Vanden.
Creswell hit three 3-pointers in a two-minute stretch early in the second half to cut the lead to 27-24.
But Mich’l answered with a three-point play to start a 9-0 run.
Bishop Gorman 43, Mark Keppel (Calif.) 40 — At Durango, Aaliyah Bey scored six of her nine points in the second half as the Gaels held off the Aztecs in the Diamond Division.
Lexi Kruljac scored six of her eight points in the second half for Gorman, which trailed 21-18 at the half.
Cristin Lue scored nine to lead Mark Keppel.
Dominguez (Calif.) 42, Democracy Prep 35 — At Liberty, Leigha Harris scored all of her team-high 14 points in the second half to lead the Dons by the Blue Knights in the Premier Division.
Rae’Lani Triniti added 11 points for Dominguez.
Sharmayne Finley led Democracy Prep with 24 points.
Sierra Vista 40, George Washington (Colo.) 34 — At Liberty, Shania Johnson-Harper scored four of her game-high 21 points in overtime to lead the Mountain Lions over the Patriots in the Premier Division.
Cherish Ross added 12 points for Sierra Vista.
Anisa Turner and Maya Whiteside each scored 14 points for George Washington.
Imperial (Calif.) 55, Mojave 33 — At Liberty, Monique Carrasco scored 19 points to help the Tigers pull away from the Rattlers in the Premier Division.
Andrea Olguin added 12 points for Imperial, which led only 24-18 at the half.
Alecia Kelly paced Mojave with 17 points.
North Eugene (Ore.) 46, Basic 45 — At Liberty, Sam Cook scored 14 of her 16 points in the second half to help the Highlanders hold off the Wolves in the Premier Division.
Jasmine Richardson led Basic with 14 points, and teammate Sierra McLean scored 13.
Desert Hills (Utah) 61, Western 34 — At Liberty, the Thunder rolled to a 17-3 lead over the first 8:30 of the game and cruised for a first-round Premier Division victory.
Katelyn Philips led Desert Hills with 10 points.
Adrianna Jones scored a game-high 17 for the Warriors.
Central (Calif.) 64, Las Vegas 22 — At Liberty, Jayla Green scored 24 points, and Talia Wickett added 19 points as Central jumped in front quickly and coasted to a first-round win over the Wildcats in the Premier Division.
Amarie Regala led Las Vegas with nine points.
Wasatch (Utah) 47, Green Valley 23 — At Durango, the Wasps grabbed a 21-8 halftime lead and downed the Gators.