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Playoff roundup: Palo Verde earns shot at flag football title — PHOTOS

Palo Verde flag football coach Rick Eurich said the Panthers’ blowout regular-season loss to Desert Oasis was a “wake-up call” heading into the playoffs.

The Panthers were ready when the teams met again Thursday in a Class 5A state semifinal.

Tia Brown had a pair of interceptions and rushed for a touchdown in the second half to help the No. 3-seeded Panthers pull away for a 27-13 road win over No. 2 Desert Oasis to clinch a spot in the state title game.

Palo Verde (20-4) will face top-seeded and defending state champion Shadow Ridge — a 38-14 winner over No. 4 Bishop Gorman in the other state semifinal — at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday in the 5A title game at Shadow Ridge.

The Panthers avenged a 39-13 loss to Desert Oasis on Feb. 7.

“This is the best feeling in the world,” Eurich said. “It’s not me. I want it for them. I want them to have the feeling of winning the state championship.”

Brown’s first interception came near the end of the third quarter after Desert Oasis (25-4) erased a 12-point deficit to take a 13-12 lead.

Nine plays later, Brown scored on an 11-yard run, and a 2-point conversion put Palo Verde ahead 20-13 with less than 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter.

“She’s a beast,” Eurich said of Brown. “Everybody was feeding off of her. … Ballers ball when it’s time. That’s what she did, and the rest, they just fed off of her.”

Desert Oasis held on fourth down deep in its own territory to get another chance to try and even the score, but Brown intercepted Diamondbacks quarterback Akemi Higa on the first play of the ensuing possession.

Quarterback Jordan Katz scored on a 4-yard run two plays later for the Panthers’ final points.

“We battled. We bent, but we didn’t break,” Eurich said. “That was the difference.”

Katz connected with Olivia Perkins on a 29-yard score and hit Alexis Manzo for a 30-yard touchdown on Palo Verde’s first two drives of the game to take a 12-0 lead midway through the first quarter.

Higa found Brooklin Hill on a 17-yard touchdown pass late in the second quarter and connected with Hill again for a 24-yard score early in the third quarter to take a one-point lead.

Shadow Ridge defeated Palo Verde 12-6 in the championship game of the Mustang Rodeo tournament Dec. 29, and 34-27 in overtime in the regular-season meeting.

“It should be a good game,” Eurich said.

— No. 1 Shadow Ridge 38, No. 4 Bishop Gorman 14: At Shadow Ridge, junior quarterback Aubree Davis passed for 110 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Mustangs (21-2) past the Gaels (14-6) to their third straight title game.

Savanna McDow added 143 rushing yards and two scores to help Shadow Ridge, which led 14-0 before Gorman rallied in the third quarter to tie the game at 14.

But the Mustangs followed with four second-half interceptions to take control, and Jaylani Palmer ran one of her two picks back for a score. Mariah Stevens-Walden had eight tackles and three sacks to lead the Mustangs’ defense.

Class 3A

— No. 1D Virgin Valley 27, No. 3D Moapa Valley 12: At Virgin Valley, Nataly Martinez scored two touchdowns on five receptions to lead the Bulldogs (20-2) past the Pirates (13-5) in a state semifinal.

Virgin Valley will host Boulder City at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday for the state title.

— No. 1M Boulder City 32, No. 2D Mater East 0: At Boulder City, junior Makayla Nelson passed for two touchdowns and rushed for a score as the Eagles (16-2) routed the Knights (14-10) in the other state semifinal.

Girls basketball

Class 5A

— No. 1 Centennial 69, No. 8 Faith Lutheran 37: At Centennial, freshman Nation Williams had 22 points and nine rebounds as the Bulldogs defeated the Crusaders (13-12) in a 5A state quarterfinal.

Jada Price added 18 points and three steals, and Danae Powell scored 13 points and grabbed seven rebounds for the Bulldogs (18-5).

Centennial will face No. 4 Shadow Ridge — which outlasted No. 5 Liberty 49-46 in overtime — in a state semifinal Thursday at the Thomas & Mack Center at a time to be determined.

— No. 2 Bishop Gorman 70, No. 7 Desert Pines 43: At Gorman, Aaliah Spaight scored 21 points, and the Gaels cruised past the Jaguars (15-8).

The sophomore point guard added 11 steals, seven rebounds and seven assists for the Gaels (22-4).

Gorman will face No. 3 Democracy Prep — a 70-44 winner over No. 6 Coronado — in a state semifinal Thursday at the Thomas & Mack Center at a time to be determined.

Class 4A

— No. 1S Legacy 49, No 1D Foothill 41: At Foothill, Laila Gines scored 17 points to help the Longhorns (20-9) beat the Falcons (11-13) in a 4A Southern Region semifinal.

Jaleese McKenzie added 11 points for Legacy. The Longhorns will host Canyon Springs for the region title at 6:30 p.m. Friday. Both teams advance to the state tournament Feb. 21-22 at Lawlor Events Center in Reno.

— No. 2D Canyon Springs 58, No. 2D Basic 40: At Canyon Springs, Ariyanah Custard scored 17 points for the Pioneers (21-8) in a victory over the Wolves (12-12) in the other region semifinal.

Kenijae Cherry added 12 points for Canyon Springs.

Class 3A

— No. 1M Pahrump Valley 36, No. 3M The Meadows 28: At Pahrump Valley, Paris Coleman scored 17 points to help the Trojans (27-2) defeat the Mustangs in a 3A Southern Region semifinal.

Heaven Cooper added 10 points for Pahrump Valley. The Trojans will play at No. 1D Moapa Valley — a 45-29 winner over No. 2M Coral Academy in the other region semifinal — at 6:30 p.m. Friday for the region title.

Pahrump Valley and Moapa Valley both advance to the state tournament Feb. 21-22 at Lawlor Events Center in Reno.

Boys basketball

Class 4A

— No. 1D Somerset-Losee 76, No. 1M Faith Lutheran 66 (OT): At Faith Lutheran, Roderick Johnson nailed a 3-pointer late in regulation to send the game into overtime, and the Lions (23-3) went on to beat the Crusaders (20-6) in a 4A Southern Region semifinal.

Johnson finished with 21 points, and Christin Haylock added 19 points for Somerset-Losee.

The Lions will host Sierra Vista for the region title at 6:30 p.m. Friday. Both teams advance to the state tournament Feb. 21-22 at Lawlor Events Center in Reno.

— No. 2D Sierra Vista 63, No. 3L Canyon Springs 59 (OT): At Sierra Vista, EJ Dacuma went 12 of 14 from the free-throw line and hit several key shots in overtime to help lift the Mountain Lions (21-8) past the Pioneers (15-14) in the other region semifinal.

Other scores

Class 2A Southern League first round

At White Pine

Boys basketball

No. 4 White Pine 62, No. 5 Awaken Christian 54

No. 3 Lincoln County 50, No. 6 GV Christian 37

Girls basketball

No. 4 Lake Mead Academy 47, No. 5 Awaken Christian 29

No. 3 White Pine 48, No. 6 Laughlin 21

Contact Alex Wright at awright@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AlexWright1028 on X. Contact Jeff Wollard at jwollard@reviewjournal.com

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