The top-ranked Desert Vista girls basketball team took down second-ranked Hamilton 69-46 in blowout fashion Saturday for the sectional championship.
Desert Vista started off the game with an 11-0 run, punctuated by a fadeaway jumper and a 3-pointer by senior center Kristine Anigwe.
“I feel like when we are getting our shots off more people can play, so that we can get the rhythm of our game,” Anigwe said.
Hamilton came into the game looking like a team that just wasn’t connecting. The team turned the ball over on three consecutive plays and could not get the ball into the post for a good portion of the first half.
On the other hand, it was Desert Vista’s bench that kept the momentum going for its team.
“My bench kept the whole team motivated,” Desert Vista coach Will Gray said. “The players that I started did what I expected them to do but it was my bench that went in and played well and that gave (the starters) a rest so they could go back in and keep doing what they were doing for the team.”
Hamilton’s first points came when they drew fouls and went to the line, which was the only way the Huskies kept themselves relatively within the game in the second quarter.
Just when it seemed that Hamilton might be pulling themselves back within a conquerable deficit, Desert Vista senior guard Sabrina Haines drove to the basket and dished out a beautiful behind-the-back pass to Anigwe who banked it in. With five minutes left in the first half, Desert Vista led 27-13.
Hamilton continued to force its shots, with the majority of its first-half points coming from the charity stripe. Junior guard Toni Davis had 13 of Desert Vista’s points in the first half. Hamilton went into halftime facing a 20-point deficit, down 44-24.
“Everybody was doing what they need to do, building up our tempo so that we could finish the way we should,” Davis said. “I want to go into the playoffs playing like we did in the first eight minutes of that game.”
Desert Vista continued to show its dominance in the third quarter, beating a flustered Hamilton team with full-court passes. Riding a hefty lead, Desert Vista was able to maintain its focus and take the time to dribble back out to the top of the key and reset its plays to find the best shots.
Desert Vista outplayed Hamilton in all aspects of the game in this matchup. Despite an up-tempo effort by both teams, Hamilton was just unable to move past the expert ball-handling and hot shooting that Desert Vista showed tonight.