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Warriors show toughness, growth in past two road games

The Western girls basketball team might be getting ready to use a new nickname if the trend they are on continues: The Kardiac Kids.

For the second consecutive game the Warriors went on the road and left with a win by the slimmest of margins, defeating host Mojave 33-32 Thursday night.

With 4.9 seconds left, Mojave senior Daria Gray received the inbound pass and her potential game-winning 3-point shot was too long at the buzzer, giving Western the win.

“It’s crazy because last game was exactly the same way,” Western coach Phillip Payne said. “It just shows me that these girls have a lot of heart and a lot of discipline.”

On Tuesday, Western (10-8, 4-2 Class 3A Sunset League) faced the Pahrump Valley Trojans and junior Rai’na Davis hit a shot with four seconds left to lift the Warriors to a 29-28 win.

“It’s a great feeling,” Payne said. “You always want to win, but the close ones are that much more exciting.”

Western led from the first points to the final buzzer Thursday and led by as many as 12 in the third quarter. The Rattlers (9-13, 1-5) cut the lead to just one in the final seconds, but the Warriors’ confidence never left.

“I don’t think confidence is our issue,” Payne said. “I think on their end it’s more continuing to execute through the fatigue they had.”

Davis and sophomore Adrianna Jones each scored nine points to lead the Warrios. Junior Kiara Rinfrow added seven points for Western.

Davis drew a foul and made both free throws with 27 seconds left in the game to put the Warriors up 33-30.

Western is a very young team with no seniors on the roster, four freshmen and six sophomores. What they lack in experience the Warriors have made up for with toughness in their last two games.

“They’re fighters,” Payne said. “So I just want to keep preaching to them to keep fighting because we play good good in spurts but because we’re so young sometimes things don’t go our way.”

Payne said that this season when things haven’t gone their way his players usually let it get to them. But in their last two games they have found ways to fight through it.

“It’s just that heart factor, and the growth,” Payne said. “You can see the growth in them. It’s easy to coach those girls.”

Contact reporter Bill Slane at bslane@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4559. Follow @bill_slane on Twitter.

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