Marie Mills

Marie Mills steals the ball, returns it for the layup against Lincoln.

NEEDLES — A 58-11 NIAA 2A South League victory over the Mountain View Lady Saints gave the Needles High School Lady ’Stangs varsity basketball team their fifth consecutive win.

“I think that the Parker game was a big-time win for us,” said head coach Adrian Chavez. “I told the girls that this game was our turning point and they knew how we had to play going forward.”

This win gave the Lady ’Stangs a 9-2 league record.

Chavez had all the seniors of the team start the game and get things going for the Lady ’Stangs.

“I wanted to make sure that our seniors got a lot of playing time. I knew that senior night was coming up Thursday and I wanted to make sure that they all had the opportunity of playing tonight,” said Chavez.

The Lady ’Stangs were quickly able to set the tone for the game and got their offense going early. Needles’ usually plays zone defense but this time they broke from that routine and played a lot of man-to-man.

“When we play Lincoln, they’re a quick team and they are well-coached and I wanted to (work on) man tonight and use it as a possibility against Lincoln,” said Chavez.

Throughout the game, the Lady ’Stangs were finding quick points such as layups and open shots all over the court. At halftime, Needles’ girls were up 33-9 over the visiting Lady Saints.

“I told them at halftime that everyone needed to pick one thing to work and improve on,” said Chavez. “They all gave me one thing that they wanted to work on and that’s how we kept them engaged in the game.”

The Lady ’Stangs kept on playing solid defense and turning that defense into offense. The Needles’ girls finished the third quarter with a 48-10 lead and they added 10 more points in the fourth quarter to give them the 58-11 win.

Gabriella Roberts led the way for the Lady ’Stangs with 12 points. Marie Mills scored 10 points and Ally Pletcher added nine points to round out the top scorers.

Chavez said the game against the Lincoln County Lady Lynx was going to determine the league title.

Note: The Lady ’Stangs beat the Lady Lynx 53-47 in The Corral Feb. 13. They had lost 51-37 in Lincoln County’s gym on Jan. 17. The split made the two NIAA 2A South League co-champions but Lincoln entered playoffs at No. 1, Needles at No. 2 seed due to the point difference. - ed.

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