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VEGAS INVITE: Frenetic comeback falls just short for Moapa Valley girls

A memorable victory can often trigger positive habits that a team carries over for the rest of the season.

Moapa Valley’s girls basketball team may have found a similar spark in a loss Tuesday night.

The Pirates nearly erased a 21-point deficit entering the fourth quarter before losing 53-48 to Gig Harbor (Wash.) in the quarterfinals of the Vegas Invitational at Mountain View.

“It was just a determination factor,” Moapa Valley coach Gerald Swanson said. “It was a phenomenal comeback. We talked at halftime about building character for the season and what it would mean to come back.”

Amanda Campbell scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter to bring Moapa Valley (5-8) within 45-31. The run stretched to 21-5 when Ashley Noto hit a 3-pointer from the right wing with about two minutes left, but the Pirates couldn’t get closer than 50-45.

Still, Swanson was pleased with the character of his players and their disciplined approach on offense in the second half.

“We talked about ball rotation,” he said. “We slowed the ball down a little bit, and we were able to get the shots that we wanted.”

Campbell, a sophomore post player, had 14 points, 11 rebounds and two blocked shots before fouling out in the fourth quarter.

“Campbell is a strong kid,” Swanson said. “She’s only a sophomore and is still learning the game.

"When she learns the game, she can be one of the most dominant players.”

Noto scored 12 points and Chanel LaCroix added 11 points, including three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, for the Pirates.

Jenna Dewalt led the Tides with 13 points.

Moapa Valley advanced to the quarterfinal round with a 51-33 win over Fairmont Prep (Calif.) earlier Tuesday.

Campbell paced the Pirates with 11 points and 13 rebounds, and Noto and Shaylynn Gifford scored 10 points each for Moapa Valley.

Needles 82, Fairmont Prep (Calif.) 32 — Gena Chavira racked up 24 points, 16 rebounds, five steals and three assists while playing in three quarters as the Mustangs routed the Huskies in the consolation quarterfinals.

“She’s been having shoulder problems and bounced back,” Needles coach Manuel Calderon said. “If we can get her to have games like that every outing and get everyone else to contribute with rebounding and defense, we should be all right.”

Holly Laswell added 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Mustangs, and Monique Harvey scored 10 points for Needles, which outscored Fairmont Prep 32-4 in the second quarter.

Samantha Sudoko led the Huskies with 10 points.

Chadwick School (Calif.) 52, Clark 19 — Haley Bush scored 16 points to lead the Dolphins by the Chargers in the quarterfinals.

Airiss Finley scored 15 points for Chadwick School, which used an 18-0 run over a span of more than 12 minutes to build a 31-5 lead.

Michelle Garcia had seven points for Clark, and teammate Julianna Thornock grabbed 11 rebounds.

York House (Canada) 62, Mountain View 33 — Alisha Roberts had 27 points as York House rolled to the quarterfinal win.

Briana Marruffo led the Saints with 15 points, eight rebounds, two assists and two steals.

Pahranagat Valley 61, Calvary Chapel 26 — Dakota Day had 15 points and Kimberly Lewis scored 11 to lift the Panthers over the Lions in a consolation quarterfinal.

Deja Harris led Calvary Chapel with nine points.

River Valley (Ariz.) 55, Adelson School 36 — Katie Simpson scored 22 points, and Elizabeth Estes added 16 points as the Dust Devils downed the Lions in a consolation quarterfinal.

Sueleika Blackwell had 22 points, and Alexes Settle scored 10 for Adelson School.

Skyline (Calif.) 66, Lake Mead 17 — Tiffany Rivers had 18 points to help the Titans crush the Eagles in the quarterfinals.

Taylor Badua-Kono scored eight points for Lake Mead, which trailed 23-3 entering the second quarter.

Western 43, Agassi Prep 35 — Naz Lockett scored 18 points to help the Warriors beat the Stars in a consolation quarterfinal.

Alannah Conway had 25 points for Agassi Prep.

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