When the Bishop Gorman and Spring Valley girls’ basketball teams met for the first time this in December the Gaels escaped with a one-point victory at home.
Seventeen games later, the Grizzlies have not forgotten the first meeting and on Wednesday night got their revenge with a 67-57 win at home over the Gaels.
“There’s been a lot of little remarks that just give us motivation that we’ve read,” Spring Valley coach Billy Hemberger said. “We stared at the quote ‘They messed up’ that was said after we lost at Gorman. We’ve looked at that quote over and over and I’ve had it at practice every day.”
Spring Valley (13-9, 6-2 Southwest League) led for the majority of the game, but on two occasions Gorman tied the game in the second half. With three minutes left in the third quarter senior Skylar Jackson completed a three-point play to tie the game at 39. The Grizzlies responded by outscoring the Gaels 12-6 to end the quarter.
With four-and-a-half minutes left to play in the game the Gaels were again able to tie it at 55 but the Grizzlies responded again, closing the game with a 12-2 run.
Hemberger credited hid team’s ability to respond both times to their mental strength.
“Just the fact that we’ve been through so much already this season. These girls are so resilient,” he said. “I’m just lucky to coach them.”
Junior Essence Booker led the Grizzlies with 17 points, eight of which came in the final quarter to help put Gorman away. Senior Lynnae Wilds added 16 points, and junior Alyssa Scott scored 13.
While Booker’s points at the end helped to put the game on ice, there was no one player that stood out for Spring Valley over the rest of the team.
“We’re a team, and we’ve been preaching that,” Hemberger said. “We’ve been preaching being aggressive with all five players on the court going against good teams like Gorman.”
In their past five games the Grizzlies were 2-3 before their meeting with Gorman, making a home victory Wednesday that much more important.
“There was a lot of fuel to the fire,” Hemberger said. “I enjoy that. It’s more than welcome.”
Contact reporter Bill Slane at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-380-4559. Follow @bill_slane on Twitter.