Going undefeated in Desert Valley League play for the first time since 2006, the Palm Desert High School basketball team blew out La Quinta 54-40 in the final game of the regular season Thursday.
Thursday’s game between the two rivals saw the host Blackhawks get out to a 10-0 lead before the Aztecs were able to get on the board with a Daniel McCown free throw. But by the end of the first quarter, the Aztecs had gained control, up 14-12, and never looked back.
“I knew we’d come back (from the 10-0 deficit), we’re too good a team not to,” Palm Desert head coach Don Brady said, “but it wasn’t fun to go through it, but we beat them 54-30 the rest of the way.”
McCown scored the most of any player on the floor with 25, including five from beyond the 3-point line.
No other player on Palm Desert (19-5, 12-0) reached double digits.
“The biggest game of our season. Had to win to clinch an undefeated league title, so I had to come to play. I got shots when I wanted to and they went in for me,” said McCown, a senior captain on the team.
Brady praised the play of his scoring leader.
“How about Daniel McCown? He (should be) the league MVP, there’s no question. He steps it up in every big game we’ve had. In every big game he’s won the game for us. He’s amazing,” Brady said.
For the Blackhawks, Jojo Wiggins led the way with 10 points, but was just 3 for 11 from the floor.
“Andrew Clark was just amazing on defense on Wiggins, who’s a really good player, and he played great defense on him,” Brady said.
This is the fourth time Brady has coached an Aztec team to an undefeated league record.
“It’s something we’ve been dreaming of since before we got to high school,” McCown said. “It’ll help us with seedings for playoffs — one step at a time.”
The loss places La Quinta (13-13, 7-5 in DVL) in a tie for third place in the league with Xavier Prep giving both teams a guaranteed playoff spot.
Both teams’ playoff seeding will be released Sunday by the CIF Southern Section.