Not even a poke in the eye could slow down Cherise Beynon on Monday.
The Canyon Springs freshman wing showed why she’s quickly becoming one of the best players in the Northeast League, despite getting poked in her right eye 28 seconds into the fourth quarter.
Beynon returned three minutes later and finished with 24 points as the Pioneers collected a 75-59 victory at Las Vegas High to complete the first trip through Northeast play with a 7-0 record.
“She’s quite phenomenal,” Canyon Springs coach Analese Alvarez said. “She’s probably got the best work ethic I’ve ever seen.”
Beynon scored 11 points in the second quarter as Canyon Springs (8-6 overall) held a 42-37 lead at the half.
But her best play came after the fourth-quarter injury. In once sequence, Beynon swooped in to grab a defensive rebound, turned and raced down the floor for a coast-to-coast layup that put Canyon Springs up 70-59 with 1:30 to play.
“She doesn’t play like a freshman,” Alvarez said. “She makes freshman mistakes, but her maturity level is so high, that she doesn’t allow it to get to her. She figures out what she did wrong, and you won’t see that same mistake again.”
Beynon wasn’t the Pioneers’ only weapon. Senior post Kenosha Wright supplied 22 points and 12 rebounds, and 6-footer Diamond Broadus made two 3-pointers en route to 11 points and nine rebounds.
“We took the pressure off of them this year,” Alvarez said of her posts. “We really worked our guard play this summer. Having guards who can shoot and pass really opens up the game for our posts.”
Canyon Springs scored three seconds into the game when Broadus directed the opening tip to Faith
Harper for an easy layup, and the Wildcats (10-11, 5-2) spent the final 31:57 playing catch-up, never getting even.
Shomari Harris led Las Vegas with 25 points, hitting seven consecutive shots during one stretch.
Natresha Bernard added 10 points and 10 rebounds.