Golden Valley High always gives Hart High problems, according to Indians girls basketball coach Terra Palmer.
Friday night was no exception, as the Grizzlies refused to roll over for three quarters in Hart’s eventual 71-63 win at Golden Valley High.
A strong fourth quarter that opened with a six-point run secured Hart’s win. In the final frame, Aly Kaneshiro scored six points, with Nicole Benz and Annie Christofferson adding four.
MORE HOOPS: Hart boys find stride, defeat Golden Valley
Strong defense lifted the Indians (8-11 overall, 3-1 in Foothill) to their late turnaround.
“Going into halftime, we realized that we weren’t playing very tight defense and we weren’t pressuring enough,” Christofferson said. “At halftime, our coaches talked to us a bit and said we needed to pick it up and they said we needed to get a stop and then score, it shouldn’t be the other way around. Just focus on defense and it’ll lead to offense.”
At the half, the Grizzlies (8-12, 0-4) were ahead of the Indians 38-37, easily cutting through defenses and securing prime shooting spots.
Alexxys Banuelos and Serene Tyrus made the biggest impacts, with 17 points each. Cassandra Ortiz had 10.
“They scared us for a little bit. They started pressuring up, but we stayed calm,” Christofferson said.
Christofferson, who finished the night with 32 points, was comfortable shooting from anywhere and helped keep the team afloat when the opposition was at its strongest.
“In my head all I see is Annie hitting 3-pointers, and so I’m thinking, ‘OK, we’re still in it,’” Palmer said. “(GV) got up by six, maybe seven, but it never really got too far away from us because we had someone who had an answer until we figured out the defense.”
Benz had 13 points and Kaneshiro had eight.
Hart next plays Valencia at home on Tuesday, while Golden Valley will face West Ranch on the same day.
Valencia 60, Saugus 25
Kayla Konrad scored 29 points for the Vikings (17-4, 4-0). Maryrose Elias had 12 points for Saugus (10-12, 2-2).
Canyon 59, West Ranch 21
For the Cowboys (12-8, 3-1) Alaina Garcia scored 12 points and Rachel Bowers and Talia Taufaasau each contributed eight. Eleanor McQuillen had seven points for the Wildcats (5-16, 0-4). Canyon has now won nine games in a row over West Ranch, which has started league 0-4 for the third straight season.