With its best player being hounded in a box-and-one defense, the Canyon Springs girls basketball team needed to find a way to generate offense Tuesday.
Guards Aleza Bell and D’Licya Feaster came to the rescue.
Bell scored 13 of her 19 points in the second half, and Feaster scored all 10 of her points in the second as the Pioneers climbed out of a deep hole to down visiting Rancho 39-35 in a Sunrise Region quarterfinal.
“It was just a matter of confidence,” said Canyon Springs coach Chris Walker, whose team will face Foothill (23-5) in a region semifinal at 3 p.m. Thursday at Liberty. “We didn’t want the girls questioning themselves. We told them not to shoot from the corner, but to use the pick-and-roll and look for their shot from the wing.
“These are good girls, and they’ve been a joy to coach. It’s not hard to get them going.”
The Rams used a box-and-one defense, with Alesse Hall neutralizing Canyon Springs senior post Alexia Thrower, who averages 18.8 points.
The plan worked in the first half, as the Rams built a 23-10 halftime lead. The Pioneers (17-6) made just 3 of 22 shots in the half, and Thrower scored four points.
With Hall still shadowing Thrower in the second half, the Pioneers made a slight adjustment on offense.
“We told Alexia to set a higher screen, because the screen she was setting was so low on the baseline that everybody was crammed in and our guards had no room to create,” Walker said.
Bell and Feaster benefited, combining to shoot 4 of 7 on 3-pointers in the half.
Feaster’s 3-pointer from the right wing with 1:14 to play gave Canyon Springs a 36-35 lead, its first since the first quarter.
Thrower’s steal and transition basket 15 seconds later increased the margin to 38-35. She finished with 10 points.
Thrower had two steals and a defensive rebound to end three Rancho possessions in the final 70 seconds.
“We got into our press on defense, and the girls just worked hard on defense,” Walker said. “We talked on defense.”
The Pioneers’ defense also held Rancho to 2-for-26 shooting in the second half, including an 0-for-13 third quarter.
Maureen Macato led the Rams (18-12) with 16 points.
Silverado 61, Green Valley 59 — At Green Valley, Ja’Neal Coleman had 15 points, and the Skyhawks fought back from a 47-43 deficit early in the fourth quarter to stun the Gators.
Sidni Wise-Wright added 14 points, and Deja Siaki and Japrea Edwards each scored 12 for Silverado (10-14). Siaki hit two 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to key the rally.
Brooke Haney had 20 points, seven rebounds and five steals for Green Valley, which had the ball on an inbounds play with two seconds left, but couldn’t get a shot away. Gwen Garcia, Ashly Gale-Fernandez and Yamilei Rodriguez each added 10 points for the Gators (20-8), who made just 13 of 35 free throws.
Silverado plays at Liberty (23-3) at 6:20 p.m. Thursday in a semifinal.
Foothill 55, Las Vegas 44 — At Foothill, Trinity Betoney had 23 points to lead the Falcons over the Wildcats.
Kylie Vint and Katey Roquemore each added 10 points for Foothill, which led 43-27 after three quarters.
Teconna Dyer led Las Vegas with 17 points, and Bianca Matlock scored 11 for the Wildcats (5-23).
Liberty 68, Coronado 23 — At Liberty, Taylor Turney had 20 points, five assists and five steals to lead the Patriots over the Cougars.
Alexis Tomassi and Kaily Kaimikaua each added 11 points each for Liberty (23-3), which bolted to a 46-11 halftime lead.
Haley Tyrell led Coronado (12-15) with seven points.