There was little notable during the first half Friday night when the Beatty High School girls basketball team went to Sandy Valley.
Then the Hornets didn’t allow a point for 7 minutes of the third quarter.
Beatty outscored Sandy Valley 12-2 during that pivotal period and waltzed home with a 39-23 victory, the Hornets’ third consecutive Class 1A Southern League win.
“Our team is all built around our defense,” Beatty coach Travis Barron said. “If we’re not playing good defense, we’re not going to win too many games.”
That’s because the offense is still very much a work in progress, but Barron said they showed some good signs Friday night.
“They did a better job of moving the ball on offense and looking for post players,” he said. “We’ve really struggled with getting the ball down low, and we have some really good post players. We’re just not getting them the ball.”
Junior guard Kyleigh King led the Hornets with 13 points, while Carmen Stephenson and Adriana Gil each contributed 6 points. But the defense was the story of this win, although the Sidewinders’ offense was so ineffective it wasn’t clear how many more points they would have scored had the Hornets’ bus broken down on I-15.
Sandy Valley trailed 18-12 at intermission and then simply collapsed, as the hard-working Hornets shut them down while gradually extending the lead. All 12 points Beatty scored during the third quarter were in the paint.
The Hornets showed an ability to put mistakes behind them. Turnovers were countered with solid plays on the other end, preventing the Sidewinders from developing momentum.
“That wasn’t always true at the beginning of the year,” Barron said. “We’ve really been working on them, saying, ‘You’re going to make mistakes.’ Everybody makes mistakes. The best way to fix a mistake is with hustle.”
Barron was happy to see freshman Jaylynn Wright do a solid job.
“JJ Wright came in, just a freshman. I put her at starting guard, and she did a really good job,” Barron said. “She made some good shots at the very beginning.”
One of the highlights for the Hornets was their final basket, as junior reserve Jessica Vieyra put in a shot from the lane after a scramble for the ball with 21 seconds left, generating cheers from the Beatty bench.
“You can always tell when someone who doesn’t score very often scores,” Barron said with a smile.
The win puts the Hornets, who won just one game a year ago, at 6-4 overall and 3-0 in the Southern. They have this week off before welcoming Tonopah for a 5:30 p.m. nonleague game Jan. 28.
Pahrump Valley 44, Durango 12: Three Trojans scored in double figures as they won their 20th game of the season Friday night.
Tayla Wombaker scored 14 points, Maddy Souza netted 12 and Kate Daffer chipped in 10 for the Trojans (20-2), who raced to a 17-0 lead after one quarter against the Trailblazers (1-15).