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TIP-OFF TOURNAMENT: Grizzlies win four straight to take title

Billy Hemberger isn’t sure if Spring Valley’s girls ever have won a basketball tournament.

Perhaps no one is sure if the Grizzlies ever have won four consecutive games.

On the opening weekend of the season the Grizzlies took care of both items rolling to four victories and the championship of the Del Sol Season Tip-Off Tournament. Spring Valley capped the weekend with a 67-56 win over Green Valley in the title game.

“Our work ethic and our dedication are just tremendous,” said Hemberger, who is in his second year. “They work hard, and they are coachable. Our younger programs last year were very successful. That, plus the incoming freshmen, has really helped.”

The Grizzlies’ history isn’t loaded with success. The team went 1-24 last year and 20-104 in the last six seasons. A 7-11 season in 2011-12 is the closest the program has been to .500 in recent memory.

But none of that mattered this weekend when the Grizzlies’ four wins came by an average of 30.8 points.

“There hasn’t been a day since last season ended that this coaching staff has taken off,” Hemberger said. “When I took this program over, I said give me two years, and this is year two.

“We’re just taking it game by game, but at the same time, where we came from, we’re enjoying every minute of it.”

In the title game, freshman Kayla Harris poured in 33 points, 22 coming in the second half. The Grizzlies used an 8-0 first-quarter run to grab a 12-4 lead and never let go.

Harris scored eight of her points during a 9-0 run midway through the third quarter, bumping the lead to 42-24 and removing most of the doubt.

Classmate Essence Booker added 10 points before fouling out. The two freshmen combined for 174 points in the four games.

“They’re a special talent,” Hemberger said. “They’re very coachable. You get worried about a special talent becoming complacent with being so good, but they work hard, they come to my classroom to watch video. They want to learn and get better.”

Ellee Barton made four 3-pointers and had 26 points to lead Green Valley. Gracelle Garcia scored 11 for the Gators.

Spring Valley 59, Silverado 23 — Booker had 20 points, and the Grizzlies used a 15-0 run in the first half to rout the Skyhawks in a semifinal.

Japrea Edwards led Silverado with six points.

Green Valley 53, Rancho 48 — Garcia scored seven of her 16 points in overtime as the Gators rallied by the Rams in the other semifinal.

Milena Palor’s basket in the paint with 22 seconds to go forced overtime for Green Valley, which trailed by eight points with three minutes to play.

Garcia drained two 3-pointers early in overtime, and the Gators never trailed again.

Gwen Garcia added 11 points, and Brooke Haney scored 10 for Green Valley.

Maureen Macato led Rancho with 17 points. Tatianna Lee and Kyndal Ricks each added 12 points for the Rams.

Rancho 34, Silverado 31 — Lee had 12 points, and the Rams overcame a slow start to nip the Skyhawks.

Macato added 10 points for Rancho, which trailed 14-6 at the half.

Deja Siaki had 17 points for Silverado.

Faith Lutheran 64, Las Vegas 35 — Madison Bocobo had 15 points, and Haley Vinson scored 14 as the Crusaders pulled away from the Wildcats.

Morgan Hill and Bryanna Neagle each added 10 points for Faith Lutheran.

Teconna Dyer led Las Vegas with seven points.

Cimarron-Memorial 52, Legacy 38 — Zaquae Downton had 16 points as the Spartans rallied from a 22-20 halftime deficit to down the Longhorns.

Shauntel Efferson added 11 points for Cimarron.

Aviona Clark paced Legacy with 16 points.

Faith Lutheran 44, Cimarron-Memorial 23 — Vinson scored 17 points, and the Crusaders raced to a 22-5 halftime lead on their way to a win over the Spartans.

Efferson led Cimarron with eight points.

Legacy 63, Las Vegas 39 — C’Aree Stevenson scored 10 of her 18 points in the third quarter to help the Longhorns pull away from the Wildcats.

TaEha Pankey added 10 points for Legacy.

Dyer paced Las Vegas with 13 points.

Needles 43, Sierra Vista 32 — Jane Antone scored 19 of her 23 points in the second half to lead the Mustangs over the Mountain Lions.

Kennedy Nieves had seven points for Sierra Vista, which trailed 17-16 at halftime.

Del Sol 51, Eldorado 44 — Astrid Rodriguez scored 21 points, and the Dragons battled back from a 23-16 halftime deficit to top the Sundevils.

Alina Marruffo added 12 points, and Azhwalaee Oliver scored 10 for Del Sol.

Deasia Walker led Eldorado with 24 points.

Needles 45, Del Sol 39 — Antone had 22 points as the Mustangs topped the Dragons.

Brenna Chavez added 16 points for Needles.

Rodriguez had 14 points, and Marruffo scored 12 for Del Sol.

Sierra Vista 54, Eldorado 46 — Nieves scored 13 of her 18 points in the second half to help the Mountain Lions hold off the Sundevils.

Iymoni Burrell added 14 points for Sierra Vista.

Walker had 26 points for Eldorado.

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