Las Vegas sophomore guard Xeda Regala scored a game-high 15 points against Northeast League rival Eldorado in their Class 4A Sunrise Region play-in game Monday night.
But her most important play came on the defensive end of the court.
Regala picked off a pass in the final seconds to clinch a 35-33 victory for the Wildcats at Sunrise Mountain High School.
Las Vegas will play at Southeast League champion Liberty in a quarterfinal game at 5 p.m. on Tuesday.
“We already knew their plays,” Regala said. “We (just) had some things to fix in practice.”
The Wildcats struggled to a 5-22 record during the regular season, split their two meetings with the Sundevils (5-14) and earned the right to play for the league’s fourth and final playoff spot.
Regala scored six points points in the first quarter to help Las Vegas build a 15-9 advantage, and the Wildcats nursed a lead for most of the game.
But Eldorado rallied in the fourth quarter and had a chance to pull ahead in the final seconds, until Regala intervened and disrupted its set play.
“This is something (my team) needed,” Las Vegas coach LaShondra Rayford said. “To come in here, it got tight and got intense. For them to pull one out and stay focused, I couldn’t be any happier for them to experience this.”
Contact reporter Sam Gordon at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @BySamGordon on Twitter.