Foothill girls basketball coach Laura Allen is looking for signs of improvement before her team begins league play next week.
She saw plenty of them Wednesday.
The Falcons opened the Gator Winter Classic with a 61-32 win over Silverado in the morning and finished their first day of pool play with a 55-29 victory over Boulder City in the afternoon.
Foothill (10-3) can clinch a berth in the tournament’s diamond bracket with a win Thursday over Dimond (Alaska). Bracket play begins Friday and concludes Saturday.
“We’re really trying to focus on overall team effort, everybody getting involved, moving the ball on offense,” Allen said. “We still have some work to do on our offense, but we played pretty good.”
The Falcons are playing their second tournament in two weeks after a strong showing at Centennial’s Las Vegas Holiday Classic, at which they went 2-2 and played four competitive games.
Allen said playing last week helped prepare the players for the Gator Winter Classic. The results certainly supported that assessment.
Foothill blitzed Silverado in the first half en route to a decisive victory, then followed that same formula against Boulder City (5-5). The Falcons employed an up-tempo style and were cohesive in their halfcourt defense to limit the Eagles’ scoring opportunities.
“Our communication is really getting a lot better,” Falcons sophomore Maddy Beckham said after scoring 16 points. “Our defense (is improving), our rotations, our talking.”
Aqui Williams scored nine for Foothill and Ryan Jenkins seven.
Setia Cox led the Eagles with eight points.
Foothill 61, Silverado 23 — Beckham had a game-high 14 points to lead the Falcons past the Skyhawks.
Jailyn Johnson added 10 points for Foothill, which led 30-15 at the break.
Jessica Guzman had 13 points for Silverado.
Moapa Valley 50, Needles 31 — Lainey Cornwall scored 27 points, and the Pirates coasted to a win over the Mustangs.
Peyton Schraft supplied eight points for Moapa Valley, which led 24-15 at halftime.
Paige Murch scored a team-high 12 for Needles.
Rancho 33, Durango 28 — Taylor DeGourville scored 11 points to help the Rams hold off the Trailblazers.
Laila Loring led Durango with 15 points.
Durango 44, Virgin Valley 38 — Loring made four 3-pointers and scored a game-high 20 to propel the Trailblazers by the Bulldogs.
Alexis Boatright and Nathalie Lagamayo had 11 points each to lead the Bulldogs.
Spanish Springs 58, Virgin Valley 24 — Jada Townsell had 20 points for the Cougars in their victory over the Bulldogs.
Naelia Pinedo added 10 points for Spanish Springs, which led 36-9 at halftime.
Lagamayo scored 10 for Virgin Valley.
Spanish Springs 56, Rancho 9 — Meg O’Connor scored 18 points as the Cougars routed the Rams.
Townsell added 12 points for Spanish Springs.
Flagstaff (Ariz.) 53, Valley 7 — Sheridan Edgewater and Gracelyn Nez scored 10 points apiece to power the Eagles by the Vikings.
Josephine Faull and Emma Doskicz added seven points each for Flagstaff, which led 20-1 after the first quarter.
Flagstaff (Ariz.) 57, Sunrise Mountain 33 — Edgewater had 19 points, and Nez supplied 18 points to guide the Eagles past the Miners.
Trinity Lavoll led Sunrise Mountain with eight points.
Fernley 53, Sunrise Mountain 43 — Jaiden Sullivan scored 19 points to lead the Vaqueros by the Miners.
Celeste Condie added 14 points for Fernley.
Markaila McCurdy had 16 points to lead Sunrise Mountain, which got 10 points from Lavoll.
Spring Valley 54, Tanque Verde (Ariz.) 34 — Ella Zanders had a game-high 14 points to lift the Grizzlies past the Hawks.
Kiana Turenne and Chelsea Camara had seven points apiece for the Spring Valley.
Nikya Orange had nine points for Tanque Verde.
Spring Valley 71, Arbor View 24 — Alexis Quaadman had a game-high 16 points to push the Grizzlies past the Aggies.
Camara and Rory Carter added 14 points apiece for Spring Valley, which led 41-14 at halftime.
Alina Oranchak had six points for Arbor View.
West Anchorage (Alaska) 58, Arbor View 30 — Kirsten Mueller scored a game-high 15 points as the Eagles topped the Aggies.
Nyeniea John added 11 points for West Anchorage, which outscored the Aggies 38-9 in the second half.
Zoe Powell led Arbor View with eight points.
Green Valley 45, Caruthers (Calif.) 38 — Amore Espino and Shelby Clark scored 12 points apiece to help the host Gators hold off the Blue Raiders.
Felicia Ramirez had a game-high 21 points for Caruthers.
Yale (Canada) 47, Sierra Vista 33 — Shania Johnson Harper paced the Mountain Lions with 11 points in their loss to Yale.
Ashley Hansen added seven points for Sierra Vista, which was outscored 26-14 in the second half.
Dimond (Alaska) 61, Silverado 31 — Alissa Pili poured in 25 points to lead the Lynx by the Skyhawks.
Yasmine Noor paced Silverado with nine points.
Green Valley 49, Fullerton (Calif.) 16 — Shelby Clark posted a game-high 13 points to help the Gators knock off the Indians.
Amore Espino and Michelle Lagunas-Monory had eight points apiece for Green Valley, which made four 3-pointers in the first quarter.
Samantha Hernandez led Fullerton with five points.
Santa Margarita (Calif.) 64, Pahrump Valley 18 — Helena Friend scored 20 points to lead the Eagles past the Trojans.
Jocelyn Ewell scored 14 points for Santa Margarita.
Kylie Stritenberger led Pahrump with five points.
Marymount (Calif.) 48, Las Vegas 34 — Nicollete Agajanian scored a game-high 16 points to help the Sailors rally past the Wildcats.
Jenna Rotheram added 10 points for Marymount (Calif.), which outscored Las Vegas, 24-12, in the second half.
Keona Singleton led the Wildcats with 12 points.
Chugiak (Alaska) 62, Basic 33 — Chasity Seldon poured in 21 points as the Mustangs downed the Wolves.
Eva Palmer added 19 points for Chugiak.
Kailey Taylor led Basic with 13 points.