Tanganika Hunt scored the first 11 points for the Bonanza girls basketball team on Thursday.
It proved to be a sign of things to come.
Hunt poured in 28 points, and the Bengals pulled away in the fourth quarter to secure a 50-29 victory over Clark in Pool A of the Vegas Invitational at Mountain View.
“We want to be in the conversation for the finals,” Bonanza coach Dan Savage said. “Last year we were in the top four, and this year we want to be in the top two. You’ve got to win both pool games to be in the top bracket, so this is a big win for us.”
Clark cut the Bengals’ lead to 37-25 early in the fourth quarter before Hunt, who added five rebounds and two steals, scored her team’s next seven points to put Bonanza up 44-26 with 4:16 left to play.
“She’s so difficult to guard because she’s a good ballhandler and she’s a lefty,” Savage said. “She missed a few easy ones, but she’s just a tough cover one-on-one. Not a lot of teams can cover her because she’s so unorthodox.”
Ci’Quadya Belser led the Chargers with 10 points. Bobbi Floyd, who entered the tournament averaging 23.3 points per game, was held to seven points and only one field goal by Bonanza’s interior defenders.
“We knew coming into the game that Bobbi Floyd was one of the top scorers in the state,” Savage said. “The game we scouted her, she scored 37 points (against Spring Valley on Dec. 16). It was important to take her out of the game and let the rest of the players do what they do.”
Hunt had 17 points in the first half to help build a 25-11 lead at halftime for the Bengals. Shayanne Carter-Wade had two straight baskets to help Clark get as close as 12 points with 6:48 left in the fourth quarter, but Floyd made sure the Chargers didn’t get any closer.
Sianna Nelson and Alexis Harris each had eight rebounds for the Bengals, whose full-court press never allowed Clark to find a rhythm on offense.
“Our press gave them all kinds of trouble,” Savage said. “Our strength this year is our defense. I’ve never had players who don’t care how many points they score and are more concerned with defense, and we have two or three this year.”
Sunrise Mountain 41, Mountain View 32 — At Mountain View, Brittany Veal notched 12 points, and Deanna Manning scored 11 to help the Miners beat the Saints and finish atop Pool B.
Sunrise Mountain will take on either Cimarron-Memorial or Western at 8 p.m. Friday in a semifinal.
The Miners used an 8-0 second-half burst to build a 32-20 lead early in the fourth quarter. Mountain View got within 32-25 on two free throws by Kiley Murphy, but couldn’t get closer than eight points the rest of the way.
The Saints struggled to contain Sunrise Mountain’s speedy backcourt of Veal and Jasmyn Rodriguez (nine points). The Miners went 18-for-42 at the free-throw line — Veal and Rodriguez combined to go 11-for-23 — compared to 13-for-19 for Mountain View.
Rose Adkins and Rachel Horita had eight points each for Mountain View, which trailed 20-15 at halftime and was unable to keep Sunrise Mountain off the offensive glass for most of the game. Murphy chipped in with seven points.
Cimarron-Memorial 49, Buckley (Calif.) 39 — At Mountain View, Shataya Harper had 13 points, and the Spartans scored the final eight points to hold off the Griffins in Pool A.
Buckley cut the Spartans’ lead to 41-39 on a 3-pointer by Leah Purvis with 2:30 left in the fourth quarter. But two free throws by Ashli Tyus and a key three-point play by Zaquae Downton with 40.3 seconds remaining triggered Cimarron’s game-ending run.
Purvis led the Chargers with 19 points, and Tyra Gray chipped in with 12 points.
Iman McIver and Niara Smith had nine points each for the Spartans, who trailed 28-24 early in the third before closing the quarter on a 10-0 spurt.
Fairmont Prep (Calif.) 58, Mojave 26 — At Mountain View, Rayena Rael had 13 points in the Rattlers’ loss to the Huskies in Pool C.
Samantha Clement made five 3-pointers and finished with 21 points, and Blaysen Varnadoe added 15 points for Fairmont Prep, which led 34-16 at halftime.
Varnadoe had 10 points in the fourth quarter as the Huskies outscored Mojave 18-4.
Sunrise Mountain 50, River Valley (Ariz.) 29 — At Mountain View, Veal had 12 points, and Ayla Diaz added 11 points as the Miners dominated the second half to beat the Dust Devils in Pool B.
Diaz drained a short jumper just before the buzzer to give Sunrise Mountain a 26-23 lead at halftime. Veal converted a three-point play with 3:56 to go in the third as part of a 12-0 run that put the Miners in control.
Sunrise Mountain limited the Dust Devils to just one point in the third quarter. Brenna Oliver had 10 points to lead River Valley, but the Dust Devils’ offense went stagnant after she fouled out in the third quarter.
Western 41, Cimarron-Memorial 39 — At Mountain View, Paea Savou scored 17 points, including the go-ahead layup with 33 seconds remaining in regulation, to lift the Warriors over the Spartans.
Tyus made a 15-foot jumper to bring Cimarron within two points with 45 seconds left. Harper then stole the inbounds pass and hit a short jumper in the lane to tie the game at 39.
The Spartans had a chance to tie after Savou’s basket, but turned over the ball with 4.4 seconds left.
Shauntel Efferson led Cimarron with 13 points, and Harper finished with 12 points.
Destiny Gonzalez added nine points for Western, and teammate Capricia Pierce notched eight points.
Eldorado 43, Mojave 31 — At Mountain View, DeNisheun Jackson had eight of her 14 points in the second half as the Sundevils topped the Rattlers in Pool C.
Deasia Walker added 13 points for Eldorado, which led 21-14 at halftime.
Dallas Hawkins had 10 of her 14 points in the second half to keep Mojave close.
Clark 41, Agassi Prep 30 — At Mountain View, Johnice Bland led three players in double figures with 13 points to help the Chargers open play in Pool D with a victory over the Stars.
Belser finished with 12 points, and Floyd chipped in with 11 points for Clark, which outscored Agassi Prep 15-6 in the third quarter to pull away.
Javoulaee Green paced the Stars with seven points, and Shannel Andrews scored six.