KHS girls (finally) beat Deer Valley
Current varsity players had never defeated Skyhawks
KINGMAN - When a mental block is finally overcome, the joy is from knowing the obstruction has finally crumbled. When Lindsey Reed sank two free throws with 10 seconds left to give the Kingman High girls basketball team a four-point cushion, the mental block was blown to pieces, and the Bulldogs held on to beat Glendale Deer Valley 54-50 Friday at KHS.
'It feels good'
The current crop of varsity players had never beaten the Skyhawks until Friday. Senior Sarah Murphy, usually reserved after a game, came out of the post-game locker room beaming with pride.
"It feels good to beat them in my senior year and on my home court," Murphy said. "I've been wanting to beat them forever."
KHS (10-4, 4-2) being able to get past Deer Valley (6-8, 4-2) was more about the Bulldogs than it was the Skyhawks. The Bulldogs just needed to listen to KHS coach Danny Gonzalez.
"We were intimidated because they were Deer Valley," Murphy said. "But coach told us they were just another team."
Gonzalez said he spent extra hours reviewing film to get the Bulldogs ready for the showdown. "I gave them what they needed to beat them," he said. "But it was up to them to use it and they did. The girls want to listen."
Reed had a game-high 20 points for KHS, including nine of the team's 11 in the fourth quarter. Tesla Morgan finished with 13, Murphy scored 11, and Dominique Hale and Cassidy Elliott each had 5.
The Bulldogs were in control for most of the game, but Deer Valley gave KHS the chance to fold when the Skyhawks took a 50-47 lead with 2:12 left. However, the Bulldogs finished on a 7-0 run, with the deciding moment coming from their defense.
Deer Valley point guard Sam Rasmussen drove to the basket at 1:14, but Elliott was able to stand her ground to draw an offensive charge. Elliott had tried twice earlier in the game to draw charges, but was whistled for blocking fouls.
"Cassidy taking that charge was huge," Gonzalez said. "I told her to keep doing what she was doing."
Murphy was composed and productive for the Bulldogs in the first half. She finished with nine first-half points, all on 3-pointers, and hit them when KHS needed them most.
"She stepped up big for us," Gonzalez said.
Big game Tuesday
KHS, winners of four of its last five, has another tough region opponent in Anthem Boulder Creek (9-4, 3-2) on Tuesday at KHS. The Jaguars are No. 5 in the state's power rankings with the Bulldogs right behind them at No. 6. KHS defeated Boulder Creek 53-50 on Tuesday in Anthem.
The Bulldogs may be without Morgan for the game. Morgan took an elbow to the head in the fourth quarter against Deer Valley and preliminary reports were she would need stitches and possibly suffered a concussion. An update was not available at deadline.
If that's the case, Gonzalez believes his team will answer the bell.
"So many times I've asked them to do something more," he said. "I've wondered if I'm asking too much of them. But I keep asking, and they keep doing."