But the Wolverines came in with major “mo” of their own – a five-game winning streak, which they lengthened to six after defeating Heritage 70-52.
For the first quarter and a half, it looked like Heritage might be able to exact that revenge. The Patriots held a 13-11 lead at the end of the first quarter, which they lengthened to 17-11 just a minute into the second quarter.
But halfway through the second quarter, Deer Valley’s 5-foot-3-inch point guard, Patrice Saindon, took charge and started knocking down threes – three threes, to be exact – to put Deer Valley up 36-29 at the half.
The Wolverines play an aggressive, physical game, which can result in fouls – Heritage went to the line 25 times – but which nearly as often results in steals, blocked shots and rebounds, not to mention the intimidation factor.
DV’s tenacious D came to the fore in the third quarter, limiting Heritage to just eight points, resulting in an 18-point Wolverine lead that proved to be the final margin of victory after the teams played evenly in the final quarter.
“I think we just came out a little flat in the first quarter,” said Deer Valley Coach Lindsay Wisely afterwards. “We hang our hat on defense. Tonight we didn’t play the best defense we could have. (At the half) we made some defensive adjustments. It’s not easy to play on the road. This is a tough place to play. Hats off to Heritage; they played really hard.
“Patrice was pretty unbelievable tonight. She led her team, knocked down threes when we needed it; got steals when we needed it. That’s what you want from your senior point guard. She really had a lot of composure and a lot of leadership. She got the job done, and that’s what I love about her.”
Saindon was the game’s high scorer with 19 points (five three-pointers), followed by Deer Valley’s Emily Allard with 18 points (and 10 rebounds) and Raven Fox with 11. Heritage’s high scorers were Ivy Jones with 15 points and Kiana Caban with 13.
Deer Valley (10-6, 6-0 league) will try to extend its winning streak at Freedom High tonight, Jan. 23, while Heritage (12-5, 4-2) will try to launch a new winning streak at Antioch. Both games start at 7 p.m.