As the saying goes, the Spring Valley girls basketball team wasn’t here for a long time, it was here for a good time.
Spring Valley wasn’t supposed to take part in the Tarkanian Classic, but when a team couldn’t make it into town for the beginning of the tournament Wednesday, the Grizzlies jumped in to play. And they most of it.
Senior Essence Booker scored a game-high 28 points, and a run of 23 unanswered points catapulted the Grizzlies to a 67-42 victory over Mt. Eden (California) in the opening round of the Tarkanian Classic at Liberty High School.
“That was crazy,” Spring Valley coach Billy Hemberger said. “We’ve really taken pride in defense. Defense is going to create offense.”
The Grizzlies jumped out to a 23-8 lead in the first half, only to see it whittled down to 37-31 at the break. Spring Valley came out with a vengeance, and went on a 23-0 to put the game out of reach. At the center of the run was Booker, whose point total was a season-high.
Hemberger said he didn’t know his team was shutting out Mt. Eden deep into the second half until an assistant coach tapped him on the shoulder. He credited the defense with allowing a run to happen.
“You know obviously our lead is blowing up, but I didn’t realize we were shutting them out,” Hemberger said. “They did get some shots, but they were low-percentage shots. Over the course of time, numbers are going to be in our favor.”
The Grizzlies will take the rest of the week off, and St. Joseph Notre Dame (California) will take the spot the Grizzlies were holding. Spring Valley will return to the court next Wednesday in the Gator Winter Classic at Green Valley.
Bishop Gorman 48, Castle View (Colo.) 46 — At Durango, Bentleigh Hoskins scored seven of her game-high 16 points in overtime, as the Gaels edged the Sabercats.
Gorman’s Georgia Ohiaeri supplied 10 points, including a bank shot with two seconds left in regulation to send the game into overtime. Shaira Young had 13 points for the Gaels.
India Cole scored 12 points to pace Castle View, which got eight points apiece from Madison Hema, McKay Vansickle and Alexis Walker.
Liberty 84, Buckeye (Ariz.) 37 — At Durango, Dre’una Edwards poured in 23 points to power the Patriots to an easy win over the Hawks.
London Pavlica had 16 points, and teammate Rae Burrell scored 12 for Liberty.
Trinity Vasquez added nine points for the Patriots, who led 41-20 at halftime.
Desert Oasis 60, Villa Maria Academy (Pa.) 50 — At Durango, Eliyjah Pricebrooks and Dajaah Lightfoot each scored 14 points, as the Diamondbacks defeated the Hurricanes.
Ahmaya Smith added 10 points for Desert Oasis, which got eight points from Kalena Halunajan.
Foothill 51, Calexico (Calif.) 14 — At Liberty, 10 Falcons scored as they ran over the Bulldogs.
Bri Rosales had nine points to lead the Falcons, who led 28-8 at halftime.
Maya Cervantes led the Bulldogs with seven points.
Mark Keppel (Calif.) 64, Arbor View 59 — At Liberty, Autumn Westmoreland scored a team-high 17 points, but the Aggies fell to the Aztecs in overtime.
Alaysia Reed had 15 points, and Amiya Lattomus scored 10 for the Aggies.
Vanessa Aguirre led the Aztecs with 18 points, including two in overtime.
Rainier Beach (Wash.) 54, Legacy 40 — At Liberty, Maiah Yearwood and Taeha Pankey each scored 13 for the Longhorns, but it was not enough as they fell to the Vikings.
Xerina Walker led the Vikings with 11 points, and teammate Marium Lilly scored 10.
Legacy outscored Rainier Beach 23-21 in the second half.
Grand County (Utah) 50, Durango 25 — At Durango, the Red Devils doubled up the Trailblazers.
Grand County led 24-14 at halftime.
Analiyahn Matthews led Durango with nine points.
East (Utah) 70, Western 20 — At Liberty, Liana Kaitu’u scored 21 points to lead the Leopards over the Warriors.
Adrianna Jones scored nine points for the Warriors, who trailed 43-9 at halftime.
Redondo Union (Calif.) 55, Coronado 11 — At Liberty, the Sea Hawks jumped out to a 41-6 halftime lead en route to a rout of the Cougars.
Dylan Horton led all scorers with 15 points for the Redondo Union, and Calli Stokes added 10 points Sea Hawks.
Alexee Johnson led Coronado with five points.
Springfield (Ore.) 48, Democracy Prep 4 — At Liberty, the Millers allowed just one field goal as they rolled over the Blue Knights.
Springfield’s Reece Newell led all scorers with 10 points, and her team led 34-3 at halftime.