The Palm Springs High School girls’ basketball team has had its issues with the second halves of games early on the schedule, but in the second half of the season, the Indians have found success.
While Palm Springs struggled early in the season to close out games, the young squad has surged into solidifying its third-place spot for the upcoming CIF playoffs. After Tuesday’s 47-29 Desert Valley League victory against Palm Desert, the Indians are starting and finishing strong.
The Indians shut down the Aztecs in the first quarter, 12-0 and held a comfortable lead throughout.
“We played hard and because it was senior night, we wanted to give our two seniors (Rianna Flores, Ricki Carnes) a nice goodbye and end strong in DVL, then start that way for CIF,” said sophomore Joana Adams, who finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds. “I feel like we get better every day. Even when we lose, we have our highs and our lows. But, I do see improvement in every game.”
Palm Springs improved to 7-4 in the DVL, 13-10 overall with one game to play — against Cathedral City on Thursday. Palm Desert fell into a tie for fourth place with Coachella Valley at 5-6 in the DVL, 10-13 overall. Palm Desert faces 10-1 La Quinta on Thursday.
This one was all Palm Springs. The Indians were led by sophomore Sierra Martinez who finished with 14 points with two 3-pointers. She was part of the quick passing game that Palm Springs has improved upon since the first half of the season.
Sophomore Kaila Gower also contributed with 11 points.
“A few of the teams in the league have given us a challenge, but we’re getting what we need done to win the game now,” said Gower. “We’re getting those fast breaks and getting to the basket, staying aggressive.”
The Indians are also forcing teams into taking bad shots and getting to the basket for the rebounds.
Palm Springs was able to hold Palm Desert sharp-shooter Bianca Gutierrez to just two points while Brianna Lewis fought hard for every point to lead the Aztecs with 11 points.
Palm Springs led 23-11 at the half, then took a 32-18 lead after three quarters.
“From the way they’ve played since summer league until now, it’s a great improvement,” said Gower.
“We’ve really stepped it up as a team, getting to the basket and getting games we have to win.”
Palm Springs also had a solid effort from senior guard Rianna Flores with six points and freshman Hanna Wright was strong under the basket.
Palm Desert earned a strong performance from junior Katelynn Gilbert.