Las Vegas girls basketball coach LaShondra Rayford sent her team onto the court Thursday hoping her players would gain some valuable experience.
They not only gained experience, but also their first win, as Shaleea Butler had 23 points, five rebounds and four steals to lead the Wildcats past Chaparral 51-43 in the Lady Wolves Holiday Tournament at Basic.
Teconna Dyer added 19 points and 10 rebounds for Las Vegas, which has been plagued by injuries throughout the season.
“I’m happy the kids were able to get their first victory,” Rayford said. “They played as a team tonight.”
Las Vegas established the tempo early, as Dyer scored five points in the first quarter to give her team a 17-10 lead. The Wildcats held a 25-20 advantage at halftime and withstood several Cowboys’ rallies to lead 38-27 after three quarters.
But Abigail Delgado nailed back-to-back 3-pointers midway through the fourth quarter to help Chaparral cut its deficit to 43-36 with 3:22 remaining.
“I didn’t worry,” Rayford said. “I felt like we were going to pull it out. It’s just that our youth and inexperience showed up there.”
Dyer hit two key layups and a free throw down the stretch to help the Wildcats hold on.
“Our whole season is about competing,” said Rayford, whose team has been forced to use a different starting lineup in each of its eight games this season. “We’ve had a lot of adversity. It’s not just about winning, but proving to ourselves that we can be successful.”
Delgado led Chaparral with 17 points. Teammate Marcia Hawkins finished with 12 points, 10 rebounds and two steals.
Basic 67, Desert Oasis 51 — Jayla Brown poured in 32 points to lead the Wolves past the Diamondbacks.
Dana Deloney added 14 points for Basic, which took over in the second quarter and led 36-28 at halftime. Teammate Happy Butler scored 12 points.
Mikala Kirby led Desert Oasis with 22 points.
Durango 44, Mt. Eden (Calif.) 37 — Brittany Romo scored 12 points to lead the Trailblazers to a first-round victory.
Jazmin Chavez, Maria Rico and Aylin Ponce added seven points apiece for Durango, which broke open a close game in the third quarter.
Lakeside (Calif.) 66, Faith Lutheran 49 — Maia Crowley and Victoria Sosa scored 14 points apiece to lead Lakeside past the Crusaders.
Morgan Hill scored 14 points to lead Faith Lutheran, which kept it close until the fourth quarter. Teammate Bobbi Tharaldson added 12 points.
Durango 52, Tech 30 — Romo had 19 points to lead the Trailblazers to a victory over the Roadrunners.
Holly Dierschke added 13 points for Durango, which jumped to a 27-13 halftime lead.
Haylee Holsclaw led Tech with nine points.
Basic 42, Steveston London (Canada) 13 — Brown scored 17 points to help the Wolves cruise past the Sharks.
Deloney added nine points for Basic, which took control with a 21-6 second-quarter scoring run.
Faith Lutheran 53, Silverado 46—Dani Tharaldson scored 20 points to help the Crusaders beat the Skyhawks in overtime.
Bobbi Tharaldson added 11 points for Faith Lutheran.
Deja Siaki scored 15 points to lead Silverado.
Marshall Metro (Ill.) 67, Las Vegas 6 — The Wildcats managed just two field goals in falling to the Commandos.