Spring Valley girls pound Coronado in Desert Region opener

Spring Valley senior guard Rory Carter shoots a free throw in the fourth quarter of an 82-55 victory of Coronado on Tuesday, February 12, at Spring Valley High School. Sam Gordon/Las Vegas Review-Journal

Spring Valley girls basketball coach Billy Hemberger said the Grizzlies have struggled offensively at times this season.

There were no such issues Tuesday night.

Spring Valley opened a 21-6 lead over Coronado in the second round of the Desert Region tournament and coasted to an 82-55 home win. The 82 points are a season high for the Grizzlies, who led by as many as 30 points in the second half.

They will meet Green Valley (12-13) in quarterfinal play Thursday.

“We’re still putting things together,” Hemberger said. “But we scored the basketball tonight. That’s been a struggle of ours, and I was very happy with that. We’ve got to get better defensively, though.”

Spring Valley (20-6) improved throughout the season and concluded it by winning 16 of 17 games. But two Southwest League losses early in the season and a third league loss in January relegated the Grizzlies to a No. 3 seed in the Desert Region tournament.

It was tough to tell, though, against Coronado (14-11).

The Grizzlies blitzed the Cougars with their full-court zone press to secure an early lead and relied on a hasty pace to build on it. Rory Carter had 14 of her game-high 18 points in the first half, and Chelsea Camara scored 13 of her 15 then.

Center Alexus Quaadman policed the paint on both ends of the floor and finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds for Spring Valley, which played without injured freshman standout Aaliyah Gayles.

Gabbie Etopio led Coronado with 17 points.

“I feel like the team has gotten better offensively just by knowing what we want out of each other,” Carter said. “Defensively, we still have some things to work on, but I feel like just being us, as a team, coming together and knowing its playoff, I think we’ve (got it).”

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