Chris Williams typically wears a suit and tie to games. So when the first-year Sunrise Mountain girls basketball coach showed up Friday wearing jeans, his players knew something was different.
“I knew we had to get down and dirty,” Williams said. “I figured it was one of those games we were going to have to fight for.”
Williams turned out to be correct.
Jasmyn Rodriguez finished with 15 points and four steals, and the Miners scratched and clawed their way to a 46-37 win over Cimarron-Memorial in the championship bracket of the Vegas Invitational at Mountain View.
Sunrise Mountain (4-4) will take on Fairmont Prep (Calif.) in the final at 8 p.m. Saturday.
“Getting out here and getting three (wins) in a row to get to the championship game is huge for the program,” Williams said. “Is it a turnaround point in the season? I don’t know yet. But to be at this point is good for them.”
Brittany Veal had 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Miners, who opened the third quarter on a 14-3 run after trailing 23-21 at halftime.
After committing 16 of its 28 turnovers in the first half, Sunrise Mountain had only three turnovers in the third quarter and was able to take control as a result.
“They settled in,” Williams said. “What I explained to them was if you give them the ball more than we have the ball, you’re going to lose. Easy passes. See the pass versus just throwing passes.”
Shataya Harper had eight points, seven steals and three blocks, and Celine Acfalle notched eight points to lead Cimarron (2-8). The Spartans were 5-for-27 from the field in the second half and shot only 29.2 percent (14 of 48) overall.
Cimarron led 20-19 late in the second quarter when Williams tried to spark his team by drawing a technical foul for arguing a no-call. The move seemed to work as the Miners outscored Cimarron 19-6 in the third quarter to grab a 40-29 advantage and won despite not making a field goal in the final 7:45 of the game.
“That was me trying to force the issue and get them to play harder,” Williams said of the technical.
Shauntel Efferson’s 3-pointer brought the Spartans within eight points in the fourth quarter, and the Spartans got as close as 42-35 with 5:11 left to play before Sunrise Mountain put the game away at the free-throw line.
Tyrah Lee finished with seven points and eight rebounds, and Deanna Manning added five points and 11 boards for Sunrise Mountain, which outrebounded the Spartans 48-24.
Fairmont Prep (Calif.) 64, Bonanza 31 — At Mountain View, Tanganika Hunt finished with 19 points in the Bengals’ loss to the Huskies in the championship bracket.
Bonanza will meet Cimarron in the third-place game at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.
Tristen Rollon had 14 of her team-high 18 points in the first quarter for Fairmont Prep, and Blaysen Varnadoe chipped in with 14 points.
Bonanza trailed 18-15 after the first quarter as Hunt had 10 points. But the Huskies opened the second quarter on a 15-3 run and never looked back.
Varnadoe finished off a textbook fast break in which Fairmont Prep made four passes and never let the ball touch the floor to make it 25-17. Her 3-pointer gave the Huskies a 33-18 lead.
Mountain View 48, Western 47 — At Mountain View, Caitlyn Martin had 18 points, and the Saints held on to beat the Warriors in the ninth-place bracket.
Western trailed 40-26 midway through the fourth quarter before rallying. Capricia Pierce’s 16-foot jumper cut Mountain View’s lead to 48-47 with 11.6 seconds remaining, and the Warriors then forced a turnover with four seconds to play.
Western got the ball to Guadalupe Herrera along the baseline and she was fouled with 0.3 seconds left. Herrera missed both free throws, and the Saints survived to meet Mojave for ninth place at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Herrera had seven of her 11 points in the fourth quarter as Western outscored the Saints 21-10. Destiny Gonzalez led the Warriors with 23 points.
Elle Germany had eight of her 10 points in the fourth quarter for Mountain View.
Mojave 38, Agassi Prep 33 — At Mountain View, Rayena Rael had 14 points, and the Rattlers held off the Stars in the ninth-place bracket.
Mica Copeland added seven points for Mojave, which jumped out to a 30-15 lead after three quarters before withstanding a late rally by Agassi Prep.
Azaria Conway-Wilson had 11 of her 14 points in the fourth quarter as the Stars outscored Mojave 18-8 in the final quarter.
Bonanza 54, Agassi Prep 27 — At Mountain View, Brooklyn Savage had 17 points, and Hunt notched 16 points as the Bengals overwhelmed the Stars to finish atop Pool D.
Alexis Harris had 11 of her 13 points in the second half for Bonanza, which took control by outscoring Agassi Prep 14-6 in the second quarter.
Javoulaee Green led the Stars with 12 points.
Fairmont Prep (Calif.) 88, Eldorado 46 — At Mountain View, DeNisheun Jackson notched 20 points in the Sundevils’ loss to the Huskies in Pool C.
Eldorado, which finished second in the pool, fell behind 29-6 after the first quarter and was never able to chip away at the deficit.
Varnadoe led Fairmont Prep with 28 points, including 18 in the first half, while Samantha Clement had three of the Huskies’ seven 3-pointers and finished with 19 points.
Rollon added 16 points for Fairmont Prep, which won the pool.
Buckley (Calif.) 41, Western 21 — At Mountain View, Leah Purvis posted a game-high 22 points as the Griffins knocked off the Warriors to create a three-way tie in Pool A.
With the loss, the Warriors lost the head-to-head tiebreaker against Buckley and dropped to the third seed in the pool.
Gonzalez finished with seven points and Niya Wilson scored six for Western, which trailed 26-11 at halftime.
River Valley (Ariz.) 46, Mountain View 37 — At Mountain View, Kiley Murphy hit five 3-pointers and finished with 18 points in the Saints’ loss to the Dust Devils in Pool B.
Mountain View led 27-24 after the third quarter, but River Valley outscored the Saints 22-10 in the final eight minutes.
Krista Jackman had all 18 of her points in the second half, including 12 in the fourth quarter, to spark River Valley. Alicia Larrabee chipped in with 11 points for the Dust Devils.
Martin added eight points for Mountain View.