Momentum Swing Aids Eagles

“Stagnant” was how Landon Littlefield assessed Lake Mead’s first-quarter effort against Pahranagat Valley in the Class 1A Southern Region championship game Saturday.

All it took was one sequence to snap the Eagles out of their funk.

Lake Mead took advantage of a big momentum swing in the second quarter and rolled to its third straight region title, beating the Panthers 75-53 at Desert Oasis.

The defending state champion Eagles (23-8) will play the No. 2 seed from the Northern Region in the state semifinals at 4 p.m. Friday at Orleans Arena. Pahranagat Valley will play the No. 1 Northern seed at 12:40 p.m. in the other semifinal.

Littlefield said the Eagles had trouble getting comfortable during the first quarter.

“It’s a little different than our shoebox gym at Lake Mead, so it took some time to adjust,” he said. “To not play our best game and still get the job done, that says a lot.”

Pahranagat Valley, which lost to Lake Mead 48-23 on Jan. 16, trailed only 32-27 midway through the second quarter, but the game quickly turned.

With 3:17 left in the half, the Panthers’ Brady Whipple was called for a foul while going for a steal, then was assessed a technical foul.

Littlefield made 3 of 4 free throws, and Jeffrey Newton’s 3-pointer on the resulting possession pumped Lake Mead’s lead to 38-27.

“That was a big sequence,” Pahranagat Valley coach Brian Higbee said. “That took the wind out of our sails.”

Lake Mead carried a 42-29 lead into halftime and opened the third quarter with an 18-6 run to blow the game open.

Littlefield had 22 points to lead four Eagles in double figures. Jeffrey Newton scored 12 of his 18 in the second quarter, De’Quan Thompson added 11 and Demetrius Turner 10.

Whipple led Pahranagat Valley with 14 points. Sophomore guard Cody Hoiser scored 12.

GIRLS

■ Pahranagat Valley 48, Lund 37 — At Desert Oasis, Mary Higbee scored eight of her 23 points in the fourth quarter to carry the Panthers (20-9) past the Mustangs (19-3).

Lund went on a 9-2 run in the third quarter to pull within 35-32 after trailing by 10 at halftime, but got no closer.

Pahranagat Valley’s Halie Lewis scored 11 points. Lund’s Keisha Stewart finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds.

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