Foothill girls basketball coach Mike Collins was expecting a close game when he sent his players onto the court Monday to face Cheyenne.
Within five minutes, the score was anything but tight.
The Falcons jumped ahead early and rolled to a 61-37 victory over the Desert Shields in the opening round of the Lady Wolves Holiday Tournament at Basic.
Senior guard Alysse Thummel led Foothill with 16 points and three steals, nailing timely shots each time Cheyenne tried to rally.
“I knew I just needed to step it up and hit shots when it mattered,” Thummel said. “We know not to underestimate any team, so we brought our ‘A’ game.”
The Falcons barely needed five minutes to build a 15-2 lead, thanks in part to a pair of 3-pointers by Mercedes Starr.
Cheyenne aided the run by committing four turnovers in the first 90 seconds and failing to make a field goal until the final two minutes of the first quarter.
“We knew they were big, and that was their strength,” Collins said of the Desert Shields’ post players. “So we put a quick lineup in at the start.”
That strategy worked, giving Foothill a 17-8 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Cheyenne rallied to open the second, cutting the deficit to 20-17 on a free throw by Hannah Tatum.
But Thummel’s off-balance layup started a 9-2 scoring spurt for the Falcons, who led 29-22 at halftime.
Cheryl Harless, who finished with eight points, 13 rebounds and three steals, controlled the backboards in the second half to help
Foothill maintain a double-digit lead the rest of the way.
“I told the girls they’ve got to believe in themselves,” said Collins, whose team will face Clark today at 9 a.m. “And they finally put a full game together. This game was about confidence. Our thing is to win this tournament.”
Starr finished with 13 points for Foothill.
Tatum led Cheyenne with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
Yosemite (Calif.) 64, Cimarron-Memorial 30 — Syd Fipps poured in 29 points to help the Badgers cruise past the Spartans.
Leilani Blanco had seven points for Cimarron and Chalon Henderson added six, but the Spartans were unable to battle back from a 33-13 halftime deficit.
Desert Pines 53, Boulder City 33 — LaBrea Walker scored 19 points to help the Jaguars roll through the Eagles.
TaQuiyyah Boyles added 15 points for Desert Pines, which held Boulder City to a single point in the second quarter.
Jessi Forrester scored 16 points to lead the Eagles.
Clark 48, Steveston-London (Canada) 42 — Michelle Garcia scored 12 points to help the Chargers edge the Sharks.
Jacquelin Garcia and Key Key Nesmith each added 10 points for Clark, which just held off a fourth-quarter rally by Steveston-London.
Anmol Mattu put up 30 points for the Sharks.
Las Vegas 45, Faith Lutheran 40 — Shomari Harris scored 16 points for the Wildcats, who jumped out to an early lead and held off the Crusaders.
Shauntovia Luckie helped Las Vegas with 11 points.
Kelsey McCourt scored 11 points to lead Faith Lutheran.
Marina (Calif.) 60, Tech 37 — Sloan Turner scored 22 points to lead the Vikings past the Roadrunners.
Mesha Phillips scored 17 points for Tech and Julie Harless had 16, but the Roadrunners never recovered after falling behind 16-7 in the first quarter.
Basic 46, Virgin Valley 31 — Kailai Bratner scored 13 points to help the Wolves beat the Bulldogs.
Noemi Hernandez added 11 points for Basic, and Marquichea Burns had 10 points and nine rebounds.
Madison Bowler tallied 12 points to lead three Virgin Valley players in the scoring column.
Desert Oasis 32, Rancho 30 — The Diamondbacks rallied from an early deficit to edge the Rams.
Tatiana Kearn scored 10 points to lead Desert Oasis, which trailed 16-13 after the first quarter.
Aisha Momodu scored 12 points to lead Rancho, which squandered several opportunities force overtime in the final minute.