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VEGAS INVITATIONAL: Turnovers cost Miners in title game

Turnovers were a problem for the Sunrise Mountain girls basketball team even as it reached the title game of the Vegas Invitational.

On Saturday, the issue finally came back to bite the Miners.

Sunrise Mountain committed turnovers on its first three possessions and finished with 33 in all as the Miners dropped a 73-35 decision to Fairmont Prep (Calif.) at Mountain View.

“I think the girls just got out here and, they weren’t afraid, but they got into traps,” Sunrise Mountain coach Chris Williams said. “At this point in time, this was a good game for us to be into. We’re going to see teams as tough as this throughout the season. I think we’ll be ready for them.”

Brittany Veal scored 16 points and pulled down seven rebounds to lead the Miners (4-5), who made only 12 of their 61 shots. Jasmyn Rodriguez finished with eight points.

“I think the girls fought hard,” Williams said. “We had a poor shooting night, and they had a better shooting night. … On any given day, we could have given them a better fight.”

Sunrise Mountain committed 28 turnovers in its semifinal victory over Cimarron-Memorial on Friday, and those woes continued against the Huskies. The Miners trailed 13-8 after the first quarter but committed 14 turnovers and were held without a field goal in the second quarter.

Fairmont Prep closed the first half on a 19-0 run and took a 37-11 lead at the break.

Tristen Rollon, the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, finished with 23 points, seven steals and four rebounds for the Huskies. Samantha Clement added 17 points and six boards, and Rachel Williams had 13 points, six rebounds and three steals.

Blaysen Varnadoe, who was also named to the all-tournament team, had 12 points and 13 rebounds for Fairmont Prep, which won its four tournament games by an average of 36 points.

“We knew they were a real good shooting team and real disciplined,” Williams said.

The Huskies used an 11-2 spurt midway through the third quarter to take a 35-point lead, and Sunrise Mountain never got closer than 29 points the rest of the way.

Tyrah Lee finished with nine rebounds for the Miners, and Deanna Manning added seven boards.

Sunrise Mountain will participate in the Gator Winter Classic starting Wednesday at Green Valley, and Williams is hoping some of the momentum his team generated in the first three games of this tournament will carry over.

“There’s some tough teams down there,” Williams said. “If we get down there and can do a little work, that will help us going into (the Division I-A Sunrise League).”

Bonanza 45, Cimarron-Memorial 39 — At Mountain View, Tanganika Hunt had 31 points, and the Bengals held off the Spartans in the third-place game.

Cimarron cut Bonanza’s lead to 43-39 on a basket by Shataya Harper with 2:52 remaining in the fourth quarter, but the Spartans were held scoreless the rest of the way by their Southwest League rivals. Bonanza’s Alexis Harris hit two free throws with 25.7 seconds for the final margin.

Harper led Cimarron with 12 points and made the all-tournament team. Ashli Tyus added 11 points for the Spartans.

Hunt scored all 18 of her team’s points in the second quarter, including an 18-footer at buzzer to give the Bengals a 27-17 halftime advantage. Hunt also made the all-tournament team.

Celine Acfalle had six of her eight points in the third quarter as the Spartans chipped away at the deficit and trailed 37-31 heading into the fourth quarter. Harper’s 3-pointer with four minutes left to play brought Cimarron within six points at 42-36.

Buckley (Calif.) 42, Clark 38 — At Mountain View, Bobbi Floyd notched 23 points, but the Chargers fell to the Griffins in the consolation championship.

Floyd had 22 points through three quarters to help stake Clark to a 35-26 lead. But the junior was held to one point in the fourth quarter as Buckley outscored the Chargers 16-3 in the final eight minutes.

Leah Purvis, who was named to the all-tournament team, scored 17 points in the second half and finished with a game-high 27 points for Buckley.

Eldorado 62, River Valley (Ariz.) 44 — At Mountain View, DeNisheun Jackson had 19 points, and the Sundevils routed the Dust Devils in the seventh-place game.

Allyah Swain added 14 points for Eldorado, which took control with a 19-9 run in the second quarter.

Krista Jackman led River Valley with 13 points.

Mojave 29, Mountain View 28  At Mountain View, Darria Gray finished with 11 points to help the Rattlers edge the Saints in the ninth-place game.

Rayena Rael added seven points for Mojave.

Kiley Murphy had nine points for Mountain View, which led 23-21 after three quarters despite being held to one point in the second quarter. Rachel Horita (eight points) hit a 3-pointer as time expired for Mountain View.

Western 59, Agassi Prep 51 — At Mountain View, Destiny Gonzalez poured in 26 points to boost the Warriors over the Stars in the ninth-place bracket.

Guadalupe Herrera and Capricia Pierce added 10 points each for Western, which led 29-12 at halftime. Gonzalez had 15 points in the second half to keep Agassi Prep at bay.

Azaria Conway-Wilson paced the Stars with 20 points, and Ayanna McClendon scored all 11 of her points in the fourth quarter as Agassi Prep tried to rally.

Clark 57, Eldorado 50 — At Mountain View, Floyd scored 25 of her 33 points in the second half to lift the Chargers past the Sundevils in the consolation bracket.

The teams were tied at 34 after three quarters, but Floyd scored 16 points in the fourth. Ci’Quadya Belser had seven of her eight points in fourth as Clark outscored Eldorado 23-16.

Jackson paced the Sundevils with 18 points, and Deasia Walker added 17 points.

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