Lady ’Stangs’ season ends at playoffs

March 3, 2019

NEEDLES — The Lady ’Stangs varsity basketball team’s 14-0 regular season in the NIAA 2A South League ended with a 47-43 loss to Calvary Chapel, a team they had beaten twice, in the single elimination playoff tournament for the league championship in Henderson on Feb. 22.

Originally announced for Las Vegas’ Del Sol High School, the opening games of the tourney were played at the Sports Leadership And Management (SLAM) Academy.

Coach Manuel Calderon remembered his girls “started the game off slow, falling behind 15-11 at the end of the first quarter before bouncing back to take a 26-21 lead at halftime. They upped that lead to 34-24 going into the fourth.”

Junior Marie Mills led Needles’ scoring with 14; seniors Paige Murch and Valentina Limon added 11 and 10. Collectively, the girls shot two thirds from the free throw line.

“In the last five minutes of the game the Lady ’Stangs made a host of turnovers which Calvary Chapel capitalized on to take the lead in the last minute of the game,” Calderon said.

Though his girls couldn’t overcome that last-minute turnaround by the Lady Lions, the coach continued, “Nonetheless I’m very proud of this groups of girls for their hard work and dedication. It was a great season. I would like to thank seniors Paige Murch, Valentina Limon, Imani Evans, Morgan and Madison Phillips for their four years of dedication to Lady ’Stangs basketball.”

The girls will have little time to dwell on the end of their postseason; a significant percentage will be in uniform on the softball diamond for the Colorado River Invitational to be played in Needles March 7 through 9.