CHINO VALLEY — Northwest Christian held off a late charge from Chino Valley’s girls basketball team on Friday, Jan. 11, handing the Cougars their second straight loss to begin 3A West region play.
At Chino Valley’s main gym, the 3A No. 21-ranked Cougars lost a 30-28 nail-biter, dropping their record to an even 5-5, while their region mark slid to 0-2.
Meanwhile, No. 24 Northwest Christian improved to 4-5 and 2-1 in region, snapping a four-game losing streak in the process.
With her team trailing 30-28 late in the fourth quarter, Chino Valley starting junior shooting guard Rudy Rodriguez had an open look for a potential game-winning 3-pointer, but her desperation shot bounced off the glass as the buzzer sounded.
Crusaders starting guard Anna Herbert paced the visitors, notching 11 points, seven rebounds, two steals and an assist. Senior forward Bailee Byers followed with nine points, nine rebounds, an assist and a steal.
Junior post Anna Hunter’s night stood out as much as anyone else’s, however, as she finished with nine points, eight rebounds, seven blocks, two steals and an assist.
Chino Valley’s offense had no answers for Northwest Christian’s trapping zone defense, which smothered the Cougars all evening. Only starting junior swing Shayne Andrews scored in double figures for the hosts. She scored a team-best 10 points, all in the first half. She added three rebounds and a block.
No other Chino Valley player netted more than five points, as the Cougars committed more than 20 turnovers.
Chino Valley trailed 12-10 at halftime, but was outscored 9-3 in the third period, and the Crusaders capitalized. The Cougars outscored the visitors, 13-11, in the fourth quarter and yet couldn’t complete the late comeback.
Chino Valley plays host to Wickenburg (0-9, 0-3 West region) for its next region contest at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 14.
Northwest Christian welcomes region foe Kingman Academy (6-2, 2-0) to its gym in Phoenix at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 14.
Doug Cook is a reporter for The Daily Courier. Follow him on Twitter at @dougout_dc. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 928-445-3333, ext. 2039.