Things did not look good for Faith Lutheran’s girls basketball team Saturday when standout senior Samantha Leonard went down with an ankle injury in the first quarter .
Leonard’s day was done, but several bench players filled in effectively to help the Crusaders defeat Moapa Valley 39-28 for the consolation championship in the Lady Wolves Holiday Tournament at Basic.
Julia Benko scored 15 points to lead Faith Lutheran, which slowly pulled away in the second half.
“Our bench players stepped in, and they stepped up,” said Faith Lutheran coach Jennifer Karner, whose team finished the tourney with three straight wins after an opening-round loss. “That was definitely the key. We’re growing, and you can see that. We’re starting to take control of our own destiny.”
The Pirates led several times in the first half, taking their last advantage at 13-10 early in the second quarter when Makayla Jackson hit back-to-back 3-pointers from the same spot near the top of the key.
But the Crusaders battled back and finished the half with a 6-0 scoring run to take an 18-15 lead into halftime.
Though Moapa Valley managed to hold Faith Lutheran’s Taylor Hammer to seven points, Hammer dominated the paint in the second half, finishing with 13 rebounds, three steals and two blocks.
“We always feel her performances are significant,” Karner said. “Even when she isn’t putting points on the board, she finds a way to make her team better.”
Benko nailed a 3-pointer with 5 seconds left in the third quarter to cap a 5-0 spurt that put the Crusaders in control for good.
Though Faith Lutheran missed five layups in the fourth quarter, Benko nailed 5 of 6 free-throw attempts in the period to seal the win.
Shelbie Gray had six points and 12 rebounds to lead Moapa Valley.
Willits (Calif.) 67, Sunrise Mountain 40 — The Wolverines bolted to a 29-9 first-quarter lead and cruised to a victory over the Miners.
Samantha DelBello led Willits with 22 points.
Brittany Veal scored 13 points to lead Sunrise Mountain.
Jurupa Valley (Calif.) 53, Chaparral 29 — Bianca Villegas scored 17 points to help the Spartans defeat the Cowboys.
Marcia Hawkins scored seven points to lead Chaparral, which stayed within reach until early in the second half.
Basic 50, Mt. Eden (Calif.) 30 — Dana Deloney scored 18 points to help the Wolves rout the Monarchs.
Raevyn Allen scored 14 points to help Basic, which took control in the second quarter and led 31-12 at halftime.
Silverado 57, Mojave 30 — The Skyhawks opened with a 27-2 run and went on to roll past the Rattlers.
Brittany Loguidice and Jasmyn Garcia each scored 14 points to lead Silverado.
Ayanna Robinson led Mojave with 11 points, and teammate Rayena Rael added seven points.
Tech 2, Spring Valley 0 — Tech won by forfeit.