Round Mountain’s girls dominated the Division IV Southern League during the regular season.
The trend continued In the semifinals of the league tournament Friday at Desert Pines.
Alyssa Hanks had 13 points, seven rebounds and two blocks as the Knights rolled to an easy 43-25 win over Beaver Dam.
The Knights (17-5) play Pahranagat Valley (15-8) at 11 a.m. Saturday at Desert Pines for the league crown. Both teams advance to the state tournament next week in Reno.
Alexis Madziarek scored 12 points, and Hannah Swafford scored 10 points for Round Mountain.
“I’m feeling pretty good right now. We are in a good spot,” Round Mountain coach Jake Topholm said. “This is a huge win … especially the way they played Hanks. (Alexis) stepped up and that was huge.”
The Knights took control of the game early, jumping out to an 18-0 lead through the first 10 minutes of play. Beaver Dam (20-6) tried to take the air out of the ball early, playing almost a four-corners offense, and triple-teaming Hanks, who averages 20.8 points and 12.9 rebounds per game.
“It was really frustrating at times, almost like they wanted the score to be 4-0 or something,” Topholm said. “They kept playing keep away. Our guards stepped up and shot pretty decent in the first half.”
Despite the frustrating style of play of the Diamondbacks, the Knights maintained their composure, pushing their early 18-0 lead to 33-8 at the half.
In the second half, Beaver Dam tried to get back in the game as Jailene Hernandez, who led the Diamondbacks with 10 points and nine rebounds, rallied her team for a 10-2 third-quarter run.
“We got sloppy in the second half and turned the ball over at times instead of making the easy pass,” Topholm said. “We just have to do a better job taking care of the ball.”
Pahranagat Valley 39, Beatty 37 — Madalyn Taylor scored 14 points as the Panthers held off a furious fourth-quarter rally by the Hornets.
The game was tied at 19-19 at the half, but Pahranagat Valley took control of the second half. Allyse Frehner, who scored 10 points, extended the Panthers’ lead to 35-24 with 6:04 left in the game.
Maggie Cathcart and Arianna Osequera hit consecutive 3-pointers to bring Beatty within 35-30. The Panthers didn’t help themselves by going more than four minutes without scoring.
“We went to a zone in the second half and forced them to make some decisions,” Pahranagat Valley coach Amy Hunstman said. “They struggled at first, and then we gave up too many layups, too many transition points, and that is how that got back into the game, transitions and free throws. Also, the girls were just a little nervous to be the ones to take shots.”
Taylor settled her team down by connecting on a free throw and a field goal to extend the Panthers’ lead to 38-34 with 1:28 to play.
Beatty (13-7) had a chance to pull the upset after Alexia Gil connected on a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 38-37 with 40 seconds remaining, but the Hornets got no closer.
Denise Gonzalez scored 12 points to lead the Hornets, and Gil added 11 points for Beatty.