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DIVISION IV GIRLS: Panthers smother Knights on defense, claim crown

Pahranagat Valley girls basketball coach Amy Huntsman was hoping her team could contain Round Mountain’s Alyssa Hanks on Saturday.

The Panthers didn’t just contain Hanks. They contained the entire Round Mountain team.

Pahranagat Valley allowed just six field goals in a 59-24 rout of the Knights in the Division IV Southern League championship at Spring Valley. Both teams advance to next week’s state tournament.

“We’re definitely a defensive team,” said Huntsman, whose team won its seventh straight league crown.

Hanks entered the game averaging 15.9 points per game. She didn’t take a shot in the game’s first 11 minutes, in large part because the Panthers (15-10) kept forcing turnovers.

By the time Hanks took her first shot, Round Mountain (13-12) had 18 turnovers. Hanks finished with 12 points — eight of those from the free-throw line for the Knights, who will make their first state tournament appearance since 1999.

“That’s what we focused on,” Huntsman said. “We feel like our defense is pretty good. Probably the biggest frustration was that we put her in double figures (scoring) from the line. She’s a great free-throw shooter.”

The Knights finished with 34 turnovers and shot just 6 of 38 from the field (15.8 percent), including an 0-for-6, 13-turnover second quarter.

Pahranagat Valley had its own struggles on offense, missing a boatload of shots early. The Panthers made just 12 of 37 shots in the first half (32.4 percent) and finished 27 of 72 from the field (37.5 percent).

“We were frustrated early because a lot of our shots weren’t falling,” Huntsman said. “It’s pretty tough because girls are a lot more mental about the game. When their shots aren’t falling, they take it personal. It’s not all about the shots. If the shots aren’t falling, we just have to make adjustments.”

Jamie Hansen scored 11 of her game-high 17 points in the fourth quarter for Pahranagat Valley. Kalli Hosier added 13 points, and Madison Harris and Madalyn Taylor each had 10 points for the Panthers.

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