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Les Willsey

Staff Writer,

Mtn. View girls basketball tames Red Mtn. in second half

Dec 18, 2012

It seemed like the Mountain View-Red Mountain girls basketball game Tuesday night could been over in the first half. Mountain View limited Red Mountain to 12 points and was winning just about every statistical category. But Mountain View's lead was only 20-12 at halftime. And with 3:35 left in the third period, Red Mountain was in range (down 26-21) despite statistical deficiences, which included shots attempted, rebounds and turnovers.

That's about the time turnovers were converted into baskets -- easy ones -- for Mountain View. The game turned on miscues at that point as the Lady Toros pulled away for a 55-34 victory at Toro Gym.

"We finally took care of it late in the third quarter and the fourth," Mountain View coach Henry Bribiescas said. "I told the girls if you let them hang around they will. We started creating turnovers that got us the bal. Ended up with layups. That was the difference."

Mountain View, which has had to adjust to injuries to two Division I players (Jordan Jensen and Rene Coggins), guard Christine Miller and a move out of state (post Natalie Mecham) over the summer and fall, improved to 8-4 with the victory. Sophomores Armani Hawkins and Sabrina Haines have taken on more meaningful roles as leaders, although Hawkins showed glimpses last season of picking up where her sister, Arnecia, left off. Hawkins led all scorers with 16 points. She heated up in half-court sets in the second half, tallying 10 of her 16 points after intermission. Haines chipped in with 11 points ( nine in the second half). The pleasant surprise has been the play of senior Cherokee Davis. Davis poured in 14 points.

"Cherokee has been the X factor for us," Bribiescas said. "She's had several games scoring in double figures. She's a cog in our trapping press. She got a lot of her points off that."

Mountain View finally extended its lead to double digits, scoring the first basket of the fourth quarter to lead 39-28. By the 5:08 mark of the quarter, Red Mountain called for a timeout with the margin an unreachable 18 -- 46-28. Mountain View heads next ot the Nike Tournament of Champions in Chandler for games Dec. 20, 21 and 22.

"I applauded our effort after the game," Red Mountain coach Martin Appel said. "They played hard. Except for (senior guard) Erica (Vasquez), we have a lot of young ones out there. They're just babies....

"We kept it close, we were fighting, fighting. But you get it down to four or six and then they get a couple easy ones it becomes hard mentally. We'll keep working."

Red Mountain fell to 8-3 with the loss. Sophomore Michaela Sabin led Red Mountain with seven points -- all off the bench and all in the third period when the Mountain Lions made pulled within five points. Vasquez and Seneca Richards added six points each. Red Mountain plays one non-tournament game before the holiday break (Friday vs. Gilbert). They travel to San Diego for a tournament after Christmas.