Moapa Valley has been spending up to 75 percent of its practice time focusing on defense.
That’s just fine by Pirates senior guard Max Jenkins, especially if it continues to pay off as it did Friday night.
Jenkins scored a game-high 24 points to carry visiting Moapa Valley to a 74-48 rout of Mountain View.
“All we do is practice on defense,” said Jenkins, who also had nine rebounds and five assists. “It usually creates offense, so that’s what all players like.”
The Pirates (7-3) limited the Saints to single-digit scoring in the first and second quarters, turning a 9-9 tie entering the second into a blowout by halftime.
Shaun Hilton had 17 points and 13 rebounds for Moapa Valley, and Zach Geary contributed 11 points.
“We’re really focusing on defense these last four games, really on the defensive intensity,” said Pirates coach Dallas Larsen, whose team has allowed an average of 46.5 points in that span. “I thought it came out really well today.”
After dominating inside early, Moapa Valley wound up making six 3-pointers.
The Pirates opened the second half with a 13-2 run to build a 44-19 lead midway through the third quarter.
“Overall, how do you match up with a team that’s physically bigger than you?” Mountain View coach Ray LeBoeuf said. “That’s something we’re going to have to deal with all year long.”
Justyn Anderson had 22 points and two steals to lead the Saints (7-4), who got 10 points from Cortland LeBoeuf.
Moapa Valley’s depth and balance — nine Pirates scored — was too much for Mountain View.
“They maintained control of the game,” Ray LeBoeuf said of Moapa Valley starting guards Jenkins and Brad Weiss, who combined for 33 points. “They were able to be patient, get the ball where they wanted to get it, and when the ball rotated to them, they hit the shots they needed to hit.”
Centennial 74, Centennial (Ore.) 67 — At Centennial, Drew Staker scored 11 of his 17 points in the third quarter to lead the host Bulldogs past the Eagles.
The Bulldogs led 37-29 at the half and used a 20-9 third-quarter burst to open up a 59-38 edge.
Matt Holley added 15 points for the Bulldogs. Beau Scarlett scored 13 and Ben Vozzola 10.
Diego Herrejon led the Eagles with 22 points.
Mountain View 41, Moapa Valley 35 — Ellie Markwardt scored 18 of her 25 points in the first half to lead Mountain View past the Pirates.
The senior guard hit four 3-pointers, including a trey that put the Saints ahead 39-32 with less than five minutes remaining.
Markwardt had nine rebounds and Zari Riley added six points and seven rebounds for the Saints, who saw their 25-16 halftime lead nearly evaporate when Moapa Valley started the second half on an 8-0 run.
Shilo Parashonts had 12 points to lead Moapa Valley, which was only 3-for-10 at the foul line. Caley Dunlap added 10 points.