Triple-double of trouble ends season

Fouls, turnovers and missed free throws haunt KHS girls in heartbreaking playoff loss at Valley Vista

KINGMAN - Foul trouble plagued - and ultimately doomed - the Kingman High School girls basketball team Friday night.

The end result was a 61-55 loss at Valley Vista to the Monsoon that bounced the Bulldogs from the 5A-II state tournament.

It was, according to KHS coach Danny Gonzalez, a game of lost opportunities, with the foul trouble combined with turnovers (36) and poor free throw shooting (19 of 31) that made the difference.

"We were always in a position to win," Gonzalez said.

The final turning point came when Lindsey Reed fouled out with about two minutes to play. Reed had just scored to give the Bulldogs a 51-50 lead, but when she went to the bench to join fellow starters Cassidy Elliott and Tesla Morgan, KHS simply had too much inexperience on the court to keep up with Valley Vista (15-5).

"We had to put people in a position we are not used to," Gonzalez said. "But I can't take anything away from our effort."

The Bulldogs (14-6) were hampered from the very start by fouls, with two starters on the bench with two in the first quarter. That took Kingman out of its pressure, pressing defense, robbing the Bulldogs of "the ability to do what we do that makes teams panic," Gonzalez said.

Elliott "hardly played in the first half," Gonzalez said, and Morgan was whistled for her fifth foul early in the third quarter as the result of a "miscommunication." When Morgan committed her fourth foul, Gonzalez thought it was only her third. Morgan fouled out after Gonzalez realized she had four fouls but before he could substitute a player for her.

Despite those setbacks, the Bulldogs stayed in the game. KHS led 17-14 after one period, then trailed 30-29 at the half and 42-40 after three quarters.

"When Lindsey went out late in the fourth quarter, we didn't have the ball-handlers," Gonzalez said. "The chemistry wasn't clicking.

"It was a heartbreak."

Reed finished with 22 points and Morgan had 10. Dominique Hale scored 9, Elliott 5, Sarah Murphy 3, Sarah Reed 3 and Jennica Peck 2.

Gonzalez praised Sarah Reed, a sophomore, saying she "really stepped up" against the Monsoon.