On Feb. 3, Needles senior Jayne Antone’s basket with 2.1 seconds left lifted the Mustangs to a one-point win over Lincoln County. It was the second time Needles girls basketball team had beaten the Lynx, so heading into Friday’s Class 2A Southern League semifinal at Durango, Antone knew Lincoln County would be out for revenge.
It didn’t matter.
Antone had 16 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Mustangs to a dominating 57-37 win.
“I knew they were going to be tough and it wasn’t going to be an easy game and I just knew I had to come and play,” Antone said. “I really want to make state this year. This is my last year.”
Preslee Murch also scored 16 points for Needles (23-4), and Breanna Chavez had 11 points and nine rebounds.
The Mustangs advanced to the championship game, where they will ll face Agassi Prep at noon Saturday at Durango.
After the Lynx made an 8-0 run midway through the third quarter cutting Needles’ lead to 31-25, Antone and Murch made their presence felt, scoring 13 of the team’s final 26 points.
“Looking back to our last performance against them at their place, eking out a victory by one point at the last second, we knew they were going to play us hard no matter what,” Needles coach Manuel Calderon said. “We knew we had to come out and play hard defensively. We made some big shots in the second half and came out with the victory.”
The Mustangs shot 50 percent (22 of 44) from the field, and hit 10 of 21 from the free-throw line. They outrebounded the Lynx, 32-19.
Kristal Jackson had 16 points and six rebounds for Lincoln County (16-10), which made just 15 of 47 from the field and 5 of 12 from the line.
Agassi Prep 53, Laughlin 27 — Sharmayne Finley had 15 points, while Destiny Rover added nine points to lead the Stars to victory in the other semifinal
Agassi Prep (19-3) opened a 24-2 lead after the first quarter and never looked back in advancing to the championship game.
Lori Morgon scored seven points to lead Laughlin (12-10).