It rained all day in Las Vegas on Thursday, but only in the first few minutes for the Mojave girls basketball team. Then it was just storm clouds.
Mojave came out hot, sinking its first three field goals, all 3-pointers, but proceeded to shoot just 2 of 15 on 3s for the rest of the game. Layton Christian (Utah) capitalized on the misses, and went on a 22-2 run in the second half to turn a nine-point deficit into an 11-point lead to defeat the Rattlers 46-39 in the Vegas Invitational at Mountain View.
Mojave finished fourth in the tournament.
“You tip your hat off to the competitor,” Mojave coach Learnell Wesley said. “They came out and did what they were supposed to do, and our shots didn’t fall.”
Wesley stressed it was not an excuse for a loss, but pointed out that Thursday was the Rattlers’ 11th game in 15 days, including the Pepsi Holiday Tournament in Flagstaff, Arizona, and the Lady Bulldog Invitational in Mesquite.
So understandably, the Rattlers were a little gassed. Junior Savannah Blanchard-Davis tweaked her ankle in Tuesday’s game, but still battled through to make three 3-pointers in the first quarter Thursday. She finished with four 3s, 12 points, three rebounds and a strong belief that her team came out of this stretch of games stronger than it had entered.
“At first we started off as a team that didn’t know each other,” Blanchard-Davis said. “Throughout all these tournaments that we’ve been through, we got together.”
All in all, it was not a bad tournament for Mojave, whose fourth-place finish was best among Nevada schools. The Rattlers also know they have a bigger goal, and if they reach it, they won’t have to worry about California or Utah schools getting in their way.
“We’ll take that, but we have a bigger prize,” Wesley said. “That’s playoffs and state in February.”
El Rancho (California) defeated Selma (California) 69-38 in the title game.
Needles 42, Shadow Ridge 31 — At Mountain View, Jayne Antone’s 14 points helped carry Needles over Shadow Ridge in the fifth-place game at the Vegas Invitational.
Brenna Chavez and Paige Murch each scored 10 for Needles, which used a 15-6 fourth quarter to take the win.
Lauryn Calo led Shadow Ridge with 16 points.
Clark 46, Mountain View 36 — At Mountain View, Marieka Dent led all scorers with 17 points as the Chargers defeated the Saints in the Vegas Invitational.
Monique Daniels added 12 points for Clark, which outscored the Saints 25-14 in the second half.
Nia Van Kempen scored 12 points for Mountain View. Tayah De’Bouck had 11 points, and Jordan Spriggs scored 10 for the Saints.
Shadow Ridge 55, River Valley (Ariz.) 30 — At Mountain View, Caitlyn Covington and Lauryn Calo each scored 16 to lead the Mustangs over the Dust Devils in the Vegas Invitational.
Alexa Martins had 13 points for Shadow Ridge.
Krista Jackman led River Valley with 10 points.
Bonanza 46, Brethren Christian (Calif.) 27 — At Mountain View,Maysan Raleigh led the Bengals with 15 points as they beat the Warriors in the Vegas Invitational.
Madie Gonzalez had 11 points, and teammate Keriane Reilly scored 10 for Bonanza.
Britney Cuevas had 16 points to lead Brethren Christian.
Chadwick School (Calif.) 53, Agassi Prep 47 — At Mountain View, Denise Parker’s 16 points were not enough as the Stars fell to Dolphins in the consolation finals of the Vegas Invitational.
Sharmayne Finley scored 14 for the Stars, and teammate Destiny Rover had 12 points.
Kate Chappell led Chadwick School with 14 points, and Megan Dinnegan scored 12.
Centennial 45, Seton Catholic (Ariz.) 42 — At Phoenix, Samantha Thomas had 26 points and six rebounds to lead the Bulldogs over the Sentinels.
Pam Wilmore added eight points for Centennial, which outscored Seton Catholic 13-7 in the fourth quarter to pull out the win.
Sarah Barcello led the Sentinels with 20 points.
Calvary Chapel 50, Adelson School 14 — At Adelson School, Kaitlyn Harris had 11 points, and Talina Inguanzo scored 10 as Calvary Chapel routed Adelson School.
Malia Lee added nine points for Calvary Chapel, which outscored Adelson School 23-0 in the third quarter.
Hayden Jansen and Caroline Altman each scored five for Adelson School.