Defense leads Coleville girls to title |

Defense leads Coleville girls to title

Staff Reports

Good defense figures to be one of the keys this season in the Coleville High girls basketball team’s quest for success. If opening weekend is any indicator, the Wolves are headed in the right direction after they allowed only 17 points in two games en route to championship honors at their own Antelope Valley Lions Club Invitational.

Coleville secured their championship Saturday afternoon with a 49-10 victory against Sage Ridge in Jackie Giorgi Gym. The Wolves were equally stingy Friday in their 47-7 opening round victory against Big Pine, Calif.

Though pleased with the 2-0 start, coach Will Sandy pointed out the season is still very young and a challenging Western Division IV schedule awaits in January and early February.

“We have to keep this in perspective because we have some tough games down the road,” Sandy said. “And our defense will need to be good later in the year when we face those strong teams.”

Stephanie Sandoval scored 26 points in two games to earn the tournament’s MVP award. The junior guard scored 14 to pace Coleville against Sage Ridge.

Aide Merito, who also earned all-tournament recognition, and O’Laire Herrera scored 8 points each.

The Wolves took a 12-2 lead at the end of one quarter and never looked back against the Scorpions.

Shaylor McCann also had 9 rebounds, while Nicole Smith contributed 4 assists and 3 steals. The Wolves had 18 steals.

McCann, a 5-foot-10 sophomore post player, scored 14 points (7-for-11 from the field) to go with 15 rebounds (9 on the offensive end). Sandoval also scored 12 points and had 7 steals. Nicole Smith grabbed 12 rebounds and Merito had 6 steals.

Girls shot 24-for-57 from the field (42 percent) against Sage Ridge and 22-for-73 (30 percent) against Big Pine.

“I was pleased with the way we shot the ball, especially from mid-range,” Sandy said. “That’s important for us because we don’t have a lot of size.”

Coleville’s girls return to action on Thursday at the Comstock Classic in Virginia City. The Wolves open with a 3 p.m. game against Battle Mountain, followed by games against Round Mountain, Eureka and Wells on Friday and Saturday. Eureka is the defending Division IV state champions and Battle Mountain was a Division III playoff qualifier last season.

“Those games will be a real good test for us,” Sandy said. “That will tell us a lot more where we’re at right now.”