The Gilbert Highland girls basketball team, which was still looking for a super-sectionals spot in its final regular-season game, cruised to a 46-28 home victory over Avondale Westview on Friday night despite its lowest offensive output in 12 games.
Highland (22-7, 9-3 Section) dominated from the tipoff, opening with an 8-0 run. But it wasn’t Highland’s offense that was unusual.
Highland limited Westview, which entered the game averaging 60.5 points per game, to just 28 points, its lowest scoring total of the season.
Westview (22-5, 4-0 Section) played without injured senior guard Julia Cordova, who is likely out for the season.
“We have a couple of girls that are just not 100 percent,” Westview coach Lisa Contreras said. “We seemed like we haven’t had time to recover from some of our little injuries like little ankle tweaks and little back things.”
Westview didn’t make a field goal until there was 1:05 left in the first quarter, and made just three field goals the entire first half.
The second quarter was equally slow on the offensive side, as both teams combined for just 11 points.
Highland coach Miner Webster, who has coached at Highland for more than 20 years, was pleased with his team’s performance defensively, but was disappointed in his squad’s ball protection.
“Offensively, we turned the ball over too much, but we did enough to win the game,” Webster said. “We had 30 turnovers according to our stats. Thirty turnovers and we still won by almost 20 points.”
Because it was able to force so many turnovers, Westview hung around for much of the game, always just a quick run away from surging back. But Highland stepped on the gas pedal in the fourth quarter to build a sizeable cushion. Westview never had a lead.
Because Basha lost Friday night, Highland locked up the No. 4 seed for super-sectionals, where it will face Westview in the first round on Tuesday night.
Webster knows that Westview’s performance Friday was an anomaly, and is expecting much more in the first round of super-sectionals.
“Westview’s going to play better than they played tonight, I’m sure, so we got to be ready,” Webster said. “If we can take care of the ball and get more shots and keep playing defense and maybe rebound a little bit better, then I think we can win again.”