As halftime speeches go, the one delivered by Cimarron-Memorial girls basketball coach Greg Holloway on Wednesday was quick and to the point.
He needed less than five minutes to tell his Spartans to be patient.
The Spartans spent the next 16 minutes proving they listened.
After a lackluster effort on offense in the first half, Cimarron bypassed quick shots in favor of the extra pass and turned a 17-13 halftime deficit into a 49-41 victory at Arbor View in a Sunset Region quarterfinal.
The Spartans (13-14), who are in the postseason for the first time since 2002, face Centennial (24-4) at 3 p.m. Thursday at Durango.
“We made one adjustment, just being patient,” Holloway said. “We wanted to work the ball, get a couple of reverses. I felt like we took quick shots in the first half.”
Cimarron was 5-for-31 from the field, including 1-for-14 on 3-pointers, in the first half and suffered through a scoreless drought of 8:10 in the half.
“It really was our type of game, low scoring, grinding, fighting,” Holloway said. “All season long, it’s been like that.”
The Spartans indeed were more patient in the second half, and Kiana Carter’s runner in the paint with 3:29 to go in the third quarter capped a 15-4 run to put the Spartans up, 28-21. Cimarron was 5-for-10 from the field to start the second half.
Arbor View trimmed the lead to 28-27, but Cimarron scored the next six points and wasn’t seriously threatened again, forcing 11 turnovers in the fourth quarter. The Aggies shot just 16 of 54 from the field and had 30 turnovers.
“We work on defense primarily at the start and finish of every practice,” Holloway said. “We believe in it. We buy into it. We trust in it.”
Emily Cox scored 13 of her 15 points in the fourth quarter to lead Cimarron. Taya Harper added 14 points — 12 after halftime — and Chalon Henderson had nine points and 15 rebounds for the Spartans.
Ariona Gill had 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Janae Strode added 10 points and 14 rebounds for Arbor View, which was making its first playoff appearance.
Desert Oasis 60, Durango 37 — At Durango, Sammi Tso scored 21 points to lead the Diamondbacks (16-11) over the Trailblazers.
Ashley Hibbard added 10 points, and Tatiana Kearn supplied nine points for Desert Oasis, which plays Bishop Gorman (18-8) at 6:20 p.m. Thursday at Durango.
Jazmine Chavez had 17 points to lead Durango (11-14).
Centennial 60, Palo Verde 11 — At Centennial, the Bulldogs led 18-0 after one quarter and rolled past the Panthers (8-15).
Jada Brown had 16 points and Paige Barber scored 14 for Centennial, which extended its lead to 43-4 at the half.
Tramina Jordan and Sade Eskridge each added nine points for the Bulldogs.
Bishop Gorman 71, Sierra Vista 26 — At Gorman, Raychel Stanley scored 18 points as the Gaels cruised to victory over the Mountain Lions.
April Rivers chipped in 16 points, and Madison Washington supplied nine points for Gorman.
Kelsey Jimenez led Sierra Vista (6-21) with nine points.