HOLIDAY CLASSIC: Aggies defensive improvement highlights win

Two seasons ago, Arbor View’s success in girls basketball was measured in moral victories.
The Aggies finished with a 1-28 record and often had more turnovers than points.
But those days are much fewer and farther between, thanks to this year’s squad.
Arbor View played what may be one of the best defensive halves in its program’s history Tuesday, limiting Elko to four points in the opening 16 minutes of a 47-35 win in the Las Vegas Holiday Classic at Centennial.
“We made some progress last year and it just carried over into this year,” Arbor View coach Leon Doss said. “Our girls are really starting to believe in our system. When they step on the floor, they have the confidence that they can win.”
That showed Tuesday when Arbor View didn’t allow Elko to make a field goal in the first half.
“We just got back to the basics,” Doss said.
The Aggies closed the first half on a 16-1 run and led 29-4 at the break before cruising to the win.
Jenna Valenzuela led Arbor View with 14 points, but the Aggies had good balance with Ashley Dawkins scoring 12 and Ashley Yancey adding 11.
Arbor View finished 9-17 last season, including a 4-10 mark in Northwest League play. The Aggies (5-7) are more than halfway to matching their win total of last year.
They’re not yet where they’d like to be, as growing pains still show through — as evidenced by a loss to Highland (Ariz.) on Tuesday night — but progress continues.
“We have senior leadership now. We have a couple of girls who have played four years, and they seem to be carrying the team,” Doss said. “Our team motto is ‘No more excuses.’”
And the Aggies are keeping an eye on one of their biggest goals — a berth in the Sunset Region playoffs.
“That’s what we’re shooting for,” Doss said. “We have some tough teams in our conference, but we’re hoping to fill in one of the four spots.”
Highland (Ariz.) 63, Arbor View 18 — Highland marched into the tournament semifinals with a convincing win over the Aggies.
Valenzuela scored 10 points for Arbor View.
Centennial 77, Granite Hills (Calif.) 46 — Shannon Brown had 19 points and 13 rebounds to help the Bulldogs clinch first place in pool play and advance to the semifinals.
Ashley Klemz added 18 points, including four 3-pointers, for the Bulldogs, who used a 12-0 first-quarter run to open up a double-digit lead they maintained throughout the rest of the game.
Alexis Byrd had 16 points, Kiara Washington added 12 points, and Courtney Hayes scored 10 for the Bulldogs.
Centennial 83, Carson 38 — Byrd and Hayes combined to score 51 points as the Bulldogs blitzed Carson.
Byrd scored 28 points. Hayes had 23, and Klemz scored 13 for Centennial, which led 40-13 at the half.
Lincoln County 58, Valley 35 — Marissa Smerek scored 21 points, and the Lynx used a 10-0 first-quarter run to begin to pull away from the Vikings.
Melanie Florence added 15 points for the Lynx.
Christina Davis and Iris Barahona each had 10 points for Valley.
Dobson (Ariz.) 84, Lincoln County 40 — Dobson opened up a 44-16 halftime lead and cruised past the Lynx.
Smerek led Lincoln County with 10 points.
Highland (Ariz.) 63, Pahrump Valley 18 — Highland used a 37-7 run during the middle two quarters to blitz past the Trojans.
Alyson Kunzi led Pahrump with 10 points.
South Torrance (Calif.) 37, Pahrump Valley 36 — Pahrump’s rally from a 33-26 fourth-quarter deficit came up a point short.
Megan Hamrick led the Trojans with 10 points.
Granite Hills (Calif.) 63, Tech 48 — Skylar Williams poured in 35 points as Granite Hills downed the Roadrunners.
Audrey Donald had 18 points and Mesha Phillips added 14 for Tech.
Galena 40, Coronado 36 — Coronado clawed back from a 23-10 halftime deficit to within 35-34 before Galena closed out the win.
Lexi Melone led the Cougars with 12 points, and Jessica Smith added 10.
Santa Fe (Calif.) 57, Coronado 52 — Santa Fe edged past the Cougars.
Melone had 12 points and Sofie Cruz 11 for Coronado.
Douglas 35, Valley 32 — Jessica Walton scored 11 points for Valley, but it wasn’t enough to lift the Vikings past Douglas.
Tech 55, Schurr (Calif.) 53 — Tech saw a 13-point lead dissolve in the fourth quarter, but hung on for the narrow win.
Phillips led the Roadrunners with 22 points. Julie Harless scored 13, and Donald added 10.

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