CASA GRANDE — It was a case of what could have been for the Vista Grande Spartan girls’ basketball team on Friday night when they went down 48-28 against a more accurate El Mirage Dysart team.
Whilst the 20-point margin looked like an easy win for the Demons, a determined Vista Grande continually worked hard at keeping themselves in the game with inaccurate shooting ultimately costing the Spartans dearly.
The first period was an even affair with both sides trading early baskets before Dysart’s Lieyla Albino and Brianna Brown stepped up with impressive rebounding and offensive play. The Demons quickly skipped away to a 18-7 lead at the first break.
The Spartans lifted in the next quarter and kept pace with Dysart, curtailing their scoring but were still behind at half-time 22-13.
Vista Grande guards Mia Powell and Chelzie Downs stepped up for their team, gaining a number of crucial rebounds that helped keep the Spartans in the game. Again, the problem of inaccurate shooting hampered the team’s comeback attempts.
The third quarter was easily the Spartans best period of the game and it was led by a superb defensive and offensive effort by Stefanie Trantham.
Trantham chased, harassed and stole a number of balls from the Demons offense. To cap off the excellent defensive work, Trantham nailed the Spartans only three-point basket of the game as they went into the final break only eight points behind 32-24 and looked threatening.
Unfortunately for Vista Grande, the team was unable to maintain its intense defensive pressure and Dysart ran away with the game with Brianna Moreno Martinez (11 points) and Geneva Holman (8 points) icing the game for the Demons.
Best players for the Vista Grande were Stefanie Trantham (8 points), Mia Powell (8 points) and Chelzie Downs (4 points).
Vista Grande coach Ryan Barrett told PinalCentral the team’s accuracy in recent weeks had been up and running, but they were unable to post consistent offensive pressure against a determined Demons team.
“We’ve been hot during the last five or six games at shooting the ball,” Barrett said. “So tonight it just wasn’t going our way.”
On a positive note, Barrett was full of praise of the defensive effort shown by Trantham who excelled in the third quarter.
“Stephanie has really picked it up defensively for us,” Barrett said. “She’s kept us in games because of her work ethic and goes after every ball. She had a triple double last week for the first time because her hustle was just great. She needs to keep doing that and keep pressuring. On the shooting side, she’s starting to finish her layups and she’s shooting the ball well outside also.”
Barrett said he was happy with where his team was headed, but more work was needed as the season continued.
“We just need to keep playing the same game that we’ve been doing but we definitely have to get better at shutting sides down low,” Barrett said “We came in 4-0 in our region and we knew Dyzart was going to be a battle from the start and we need to be prepared for when we see them at the last game of the season.”