The Wolverines squandered a massive lead in the final half, but held on to win 50-44.
Deer Valley scored 17 points in each of the first two quarters, while the Patriots shooters were ice cold. The halftime score was 34-13 and the final 16 minutes seemed like a mere victory lap – until Heritage heated up. The Patriots outscored the Wolverines 17-4 in the third quarter, but a 12-point Deer Valley fourth quarter was enough to keep Heritage at bay.
“Happy to win the game,” Wolverines head coach Mark Hurtado said. “But with that lead we had in the first half … we’ve got some stuff we need to work on. We stopped being aggressive. We started taking outside shots, which is not our thing, and we stopped attacking the basket.”
Hurtado also accurately noted that the Patriots scored with greater frequency. Their output in the third quarter outshone their entire first half – as did their fourth-quarter output. Junior guard Erin Asher heated up, scoring 14 of her game-high 17 points in the second half, including three of her four three-pointers. Junior forward Miranda Nelson was second on the Patriots in scoring, recording all 10 of her points in the second half, and eight in the final quarter.
Senior forward Jenifer Keys led the Wolverines with 16 points – 13 of which came in the first half. Junior guard Sabrea Coleman was second on the team with 12. Six of her points came in the final quarter, which provided the difference in the game.
“It was a good team effort,” Keys said. “In the first half on offense, we passed the ball really well. On defense we just played as a team. We can work on keeping the pressure up, and how to enlarge our lead in the second half, instead of struggling.”
The win moves Deer Valley to 10-5 overall (1-0 in BVAL play). The Wolverines will host Antioch in their next league game, slated for Friday.
“We knew this was going to a tough game, playing at their place in the first game of the league season,” Hurtado added. “It’s a big win. I didn’t like how it went down, but it’s a big win.”
A dominant preseason still puts Heritage in good shape. The loss dropped the Patriots to 13-2 overall, (0-1 BVAL). Like Deer Valley, Heritage will host its crosstown rival – Liberty – on Friday.
The night wasn’t a total loss for the Patriots, whose junior varsity team downed the Wolverines 47-40. Heritage’s Sydney Berry led all scorers with 13, while Taya Carter and Brandi Williams paced the Deer Valley attack with 10.