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Gators’ full-court press clinches league opener

Green Valley’s girls didn’t invent the 2-2-1 press.

The Gators might be qualified to give lessons in it, though.

Green Valley used its trapping full-court defense Monday to force 32 turnovers and generally disrupt Coronado’s offense en route to a 65-46 home win in the teams’ Southeast League opener.

“The girls did a good job of not letting them just bring the ball up the court with the people they wanted,” Green Valley coach Rey White said.

The Gators (7-9) never trailed and forced 11 first-quarter turnovers en route to a 15-12 lead.

Shelby Clark’s transition basket off a Coronado turnover with 6.3 seconds left in the second quarter gave Green Valley a 34-26 halftime lead.

The Cougars (6-7) cut the gap to six early in the third quarter, but got no closer.

Clark finished with 20 points to lead Green Valley. Julia Clark, Lusi Soifua and Michelle Lagunas-Monroy each added 11 points. Teammate Rian Anderson had 13 rebounds.

“Shelby had a fantastic game,” White said. “Earlier in the season, there were some games when she was struggling. But lately in our tournament and tonight, she has really found her stride.”

The Gators were playing their fifth game in six days after hosting the Gator Winter Classic last week and showed some signs of wear, committing 26 turnovers and shooting 20-for-62 (32.3 percent).

“It worried me that we didn’t get some time to rest and practice and get back into a regular rhythm,” White said. “It took us awhile to get our intensity going, but our intensity really came up in the second half. We wanted to make a statement in our conference that we wanted to improve.”

Gabbie Etopio had 15 points and 15 rebounds to lead Coronado, which also was weary after playing in Houston on Saturday. Haley Morton added 12 points and 13 rebounds and Sade Williams scored 10 for the Cougars.

More preps: Follow online at nevadapreps.com and @NevadaPreps on Twitter.

Contact reporter Bartt Davis at bdavis@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4602.

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