Ellee Barton showed off a couple of her best dance moves in the layup line when an electronic dance music version of “Jingle Bell Rock” was played during pregame warmups.
Green Valley’s girls basketball team clearly was in a festive mood Saturday.
Brooke Haney finished with 15 points and eight rebounds, and the host Gators forced 37 turnovers in a 68-22 victory over Cheyenne during pool play at the Gator Winter Classic.
“When you host a tournament it’s tough, because the kids are sitting around the gym all day,” Green Valley coach Eric Johnston said. “It’s nice to get off to a good start. We’ve had some ups and downs already this year; got beaten by a couple of really good teams and beat a couple of really good teams.
“We definitely want to get some momentum heading into league play, and today was a good first step toward that.”
Amy Amezcua, Ashly Gale-Fernandez, Jamaica Lewis and Yamilei Rodriguez each had eight points as 11 of the 12 players on Green Valley’s roster scored.
The Gators (7-4) used a 13-0 second-quarter run to take a 32-14 halftime lead and closed the third quarter on an 18-0 spurt to pull away despite making only 26 of their 80 field-goal attempts (32.5 percent).
“We’ve got some really good shooters, but they’re all streaky,” Johnston said. “When we’re shooting the ball well, we really, truly believe we can compete with anyone in town, especially on our side.”
Cheyenne struggled against the Gators’ pressure from the outset. The Desert Shields (1-5) didn’t get the ball across halfcourt for the first 2:15 of the game, and their first shot didn’t come until three minutes had passed.
Koreyl Godbolt led Cheyenne with 10 points to go with eight rebounds, and Da’Vione Lomax finished with nine boards.
“We were fortunate to get some turnovers early and convert and kind of jump on them early,” Johnston said. “We definitely didn’t want to let them get set in the halfcourt. We didn’t want to play a halfcourt game with them. We wanted to try to speed it up a little bit.”
Lewis scored six points early in the second quarter to ignite Green Valley’s offense, and Haney erupted for nine points in the third quarter. Haney’s acrobatic finish from close range put the Gators on top 38-20, and her 3-pointer midway through the quarter gave Green Valley a 43-22 advantage.
“Brooke’s really learning how to be that go-to scorer. It’s kind of a new role for her,” Johnston said. “Last year she was coming off of a knee injury, and she’s really stepped into that role nice. She works hard. She’s a hard-working kid, sets a great example and she’s doing a great job. A lot of teams are starting to key on her, and we’re still finding ways to get her open.”
Rancho 60, Malibu (Calif.) 9 — Maureen Macato and Tatianna Lee each had 18 points, and the Rams blasted the previously unbeaten Sharks.
Samantha Pochop added 12 points for Rancho, which led 42-6 at halftime.
The Rams didn’t attempt a shot in the fourth quarter as both teams went scoreless.
Ari Ross had five first-half points to lead Malibu. The Sharks dressed only seven of the 14 players listed on their roster.
Spanish Springs 61, Del Sol 38 — Jazland Campbell had 16 points in the Dragons’ loss to the Cougars.
Ana Ozuna added 13 points for Del Sol, which trailed 35-11 at halftime.
Anhelica Shanrock led Spanish Springs with 15 points. Tabbatha Reyes had 11 points as 10 players scored for the Cougars.
Westchester (Calif.) 60, Coronado 41 — Ksana Montoya and Haley Tyrell had 11 points apiece in the Cougars’ loss to the Comets.
Montoya notched six rebounds and seven steals, while Tyrell tallied seven rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Coronado was within 38-32 midway through the third quarter, but Westchester’s Briana Anugwom knocked down a 3-pointer from the left corner to help the Comets take control.
Coronado was outscored 17-7 in the fourth quarter. The Cougars finished 7-for-22 from the free-throw line, including a 3-for-12 effort in the third quarter.
Anugwom finished with 30 points, and Heyavin Johnson had 11 points for the Comets.
Durango 45, Western 32 — Brittany Romo poured in 22 points, and Laila Loring added 11 points to lift the Trailblazers past the Warriors.
Romo had 16 points in the second half, including nine in the fourth quarter, to help Durango pull away after the teams were tied at 19 at halftime.
The Trailblazers outscored Western 15-5 in the fourth.
Destiny Gonzalez had a game-high 23 points for Western. Capricia Pierce had the Warriors’ other nine points.
Foothill 54, Needles 40 — Trinity Betoney scored 15 of her game-high 19 points in the first half, and the Falcons topped the Mustangs.
Rae Burrell added 14 points for Foothill, which led 25-23 at halftime. Katey Roquemore had all eight of her points in the fourth quarter to help the Falcons pull away.
Brenna Chavez led Needles with 11 points but was held scoreless in the second half. Jasmine Mejia scored 10 for the Mustangs.
Coronado 54, Durango 33 — Payton Caci had 17 points and five steals, and Tyrell added 12 points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals as the Cougars bounced the Trailblazers.
Caci had 13 points in the first half as Coronado opened up a 34-11 advantage.
Montoya tallied eight points and six rebounds, and Aeryn Hawkins finished with six points and seven boards for the Cougars.
Romo had 13 points to lead Durango.
Needles 66, Del Sol 18 — Valentina Limon led a balanced scoring attack with 13 points, and the Mustangs rolled past the Dragons.
Mejia had 12 points, and Jayne Antone and Chavez each finished with 10 points for Needles.
The Mustangs opened the game on a 20-2 run.
Ozuna led Del Sol with 11 points.