The top two teams in the Desert Valley League faced off in the Palm Desert pool on Thursday afternoon and goals were hard to come by – until the fourth quarter that is.
Palm Desert and La Quinta battled tooth and nail, no team ever having more than a two-goal lead the entire game, but in the end it was a late scoring surge by the Blackhawks that led La Quinta to a thrilling 10-9 win.
After three quarters, including a scoreless first quarter, Palm Desert held a 5-4 lead. But La Quinta matched its four-goal output with a four-goal burst in the first three minutes of the fourth quarter to open an 8-6 lead.
The Aztecs regrouped and worked the game to a 9-9 tie with a minute left, thanks to a pair of long-range skipped shots by Ryan Sawyer and Mitch Conrow.
But hard-working Todd Becker put home a rebound to make it 10-9 La Quinta, and the Blackhawks were able to get one stop and run out the clock for the dramatic victory.
Keep in mind that regular-season victories are more important than usual in DVL play as they have done away with the end-of-season carousel now that there are seven teams in the league. So regular-season record will determine the league champion.
Becker and Jeremy Baker led the Blackhawks with three goals each; all of Becker’s came in the fourth quarter. Will Alwine and Brayden Smith each had two to round out the scoring. Top player Spencer Lowell hit the frame a few times, but was held scoreless by the Aztecs.
La Quinta goalkeeper Cody Rudisill made several important saves.
For the Aztecs, it was Conrow leading the way with three goals. He also had the only successful shot of the scoreless first period, when his shot sailed over the goal and into a nearby trash can. That drew a chuckle from the large crowd. Sawyer scored twice, and Kenny Pineo, Frank Cardes, Drew Jessup and Sando Gilbert each had a goal. Goalkeeper Zane Rhodes kept the Aztecs in the game with stingy play in net.
La Quinta (12-4, 4-0) hosts Indio on Tuesday. Palm Desert (4-1 DVL) plays Lakeside Friday and at Cathedral City on Tuesday.
Xavier Prep 11, Palm Desert 7: The Saints beat Palm Desert for the first time in Xavier’s 10-year history.
Leading Xavier was senior Tiani Jadulang who won three singles sets, 6-4, 6-3 and 6-2. Bryana Quintana added a 6-2 win.
In doubles, the doubles duo of Julia Way and Caroline Stack won sets 6-1, 6-0 and 6-3, while Fernanda Gonzalez and Marni McDowell won sets 6-2, 6-2 and 6-4. Gillan Berg and Sophia Cardi won one set 6-3.
In the loss, which split the teams’ two matches this year, Kylee Shannon (6-0), Claudia Stepien (6-3, 6-0) and Tenaya Moranda (6-4, 6-0) won singles sets for the Aztecs. The teams of Saige Collins and Maeli Martin (6-1), and Annie McCarthy and Andrea Aguilar (6-2) won doubles matches for Palm Desert.
Xavier is now 7-1 in the DVL and will face La Quinta Tuesday at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden
29 Palms 14, Coachella Valley 4: The Arabs traveled to Twentynine Palms Wednesday and lost the De Anza League match to the Wildcats.
Winners for Coachella Valley were Andrea Rapan (6-2, 6-3) and Desiree Cerda in singles and the team of Natalia Mendez and Evelyn Molina (7-5) in doubles.
Coachella Valley 326, Rancho Mirage 330: The Arabs won the De Anza League match at Palm Valley Country Club.
Medalist for the Arabs was Vivica Garcia with a 55. Yesenia Chicas scored a 63 and Erin Espinoza added a 65 in the win.
Coachella Valley is currently 10-5 overall and 4-2 in league.
Palm Desert 208, Shadow Hills 312: Madison Walker fired a 37 on the South Course at Shadow Hills Golf Club to earn medalists honors and lead the Aztecs to the Desert Valley League victory.
Madison Rincon shot 39 for Palm Desert, while Dana Condon at 42, Lily Rodriguez at 43 and Madison Vance at 47 rounded out the scoring for Palm Desert.
Isabelle Smith shot 55 to lead the Knights and was followed by Miranda Rivera (61), Nadia Teutut (62), Valerie Cabrera (65) and Pamela Collis (69).
La Quinta 299, Cathedral City 309: At Indian Springs Country Club, The Blackhawks took the DVL match with Mariah Moon shooting a 39.
Other players for La Quinta included Margarita Alvarez at 62, Valerie De La Paz at 63 and Harmonie Kennedy at 64.
Cathedral City was led Haley Barsch at 51 and Priscilla Martinez, Lida Nguyen and Lexie Guanajuato all with 64.
La Quinta is now 5-3 in league and 8-6 overall.
Shadow Hills defeats Cathedral City: The Knights won the Desert Valley League match in straight sets, 25-8, 25-18 and 25-13.
Golden Hinchen had seven kills for Shadow Hills, while Trinity Castaneda had eight kills and Aviana Ortiz had 11 digs.
The Knights are 6-1 in league play and will be home against La Quinta Tuesday.
Xavier defeats Indio: The Saints won in straight sets in the Desert Valley league match, 25-16, 25-15 and 25-7.
Megan Homes had six kills for Xavier, while Jillian Whitcomb had six kills and seven digs. Kelsey Grijalva had five kills, Teti Omilana had five aces and 11 digs. Cassidy Orr had four aces and Gaby Werner had 15 assists.