It was just an ordinary night on the hardwood Thursday night for Desert Vista's girls basketball team. That meant a methodical triumph.
Point guard Emily Wolph scored 12 points in the opening period as the Lady Thunder opened up a double-digit lead and eased past E.S.Saint-Laurent from Montreal, 64-44, in a first-round Nike Tournament of Champions game at Basha High School.
Wolph, the senior leader for Desert Vista, hit one of two threes to open the game helping put the Lady Thunder in front, 6-0. Junior guard Sabrina Haines sank the other. From there Desert Vista's trapping and persistent pressure unnerved its Canadian foe and never let it get a foothold in the contest.
“We came out and played aggressive, and hitting the two quick threes didn't hurt,” Desert Vista coach Jontar Coleman said. “Most teams aren't used to the pressure we bring. We were able to play a lot of players. Everyone seems to complement one another.”
Make no mistake offensively, Desert Vista gets the bulk of its points from Wolph, 6-foot-4 junior center Kristine Anigwe and Haines, a junior transfer from Mesa Mountain View. Wolph finished with 23 points and the 12 she tallied in the first period came in the opening four minutes. Haines finished with 14 points and Anigwe added 12. Anigwe did a nice job plugging the middle if the rest of the defense failed to contain penetration by E.S. Saint-Laurent.
Desert Vista widened its lead to 39-19 af intermission and bumped it some more after three periods to 54-25. E.S. Saint-Laurent showed some spunk in the final period slicing the lead in half at one point before Coleman called on the first team to halt the rally.
Desert Vista (10-0), playing in the White Division, takes on the Vanden-Canyon Springs winner in the semifinals on Friday (Dec. 20) at 1 p.m. at Basha.E.S. Saint Laurent had three players score in double figures. Mael Gilles had 14, Leony Boudreay had 13 and Shameira Plunkett had 11.
In afternoon and evening games involving Arizona schools, Mesquite beat Viewmont, 69-46 (John Anderson Division); Williams Field over Animo South, 51-40 (Black Division); Hamilton over Brea Olinda, 44-36 (Mike Desper Division); Horizon, Colo. over Valley Vista 51-31 (Green Division); Huntington Beach over Boulder Creek, 44-25 (Red Division).