RENO - Superior height, not to mention full-court pressure defense, helped the Galena High School girls basketball team open its own Mountain Classic with a 52-26 victory against Mazama on Thursday night.
Six-foot-1 junior Kellie Burton scored 10 of her game-high 21 points in the first quarter, as Galena jumped out to a 16-4 first-quarter lead and never looked back against the Vikings from Klamath Falls, Ore.
Galena's full court man-to-man defense dominated the third quarter, limiting Mazama to just two points as the Grizzlies extended their lead to 45-12.
"I was really pleased with our defense," Galena coach Karen Friel said. "For as big as we are, we are pretty quick and we were able to take advantage of that tonight."
The Grizzlies were also dominant underneath the basket with a team total of 44 rebounds. Janelle Mack grabbed nine rebounds, freshman Joanna Hixon had eight. Burton also had six rebounds, four on the offensive end.
Guard Jayleen Chen also scored 10 points for the Grizzlies and Whitney Williams, a 6-foot senior guard, added six.
The win was a good one, according to Friel.
"I thought they (Mazama) had a lot of athletes out there. They played hard," she said of the Southern Oregon Conference Vikings, who were playing their season opener.
Galena (4-0) resumes play in the round-robin tournament tonight with a 7 p.m. contest against Palo Verde.
DOUGLAS 42, PALO VERDE 37
Defense was the best offense as the Tigers came from behind to defeat Las Vegas-based Palo Verde in their Mountain Classic opener.
Douglas held a 30-28 lead going into the fourth quarter when coach Werner Christen issued a challenge.
"We challenged them to play good defense in the fourth quarter, and they responded," Christen said. "Defense, that's our bread and butter. Our defense creates our offense."
The Tigers (3-0) also used some patience to finish on the offensive end.
Lauren Myers scored on a putback to break a 33-33 tie with 5:57 left, giving Douglas a lead it never relinquished. A little over a minute later, the Tigers worked the ball for an open shot before sophomore guard Andrea Honer hit Myers underneath for a layup. Next, Honer drove the lane and dished to Kim Smith for a basket that put the Tigers on top, 39-34.
"We were looking for the open shot," said Myers, who finished with 16 points. "If it was there, we knocked it down. If it wasn't, we kicked it back out. And it paid off for us."
Palo Verde had used a 14-1 run to take a 20-16 lead in the first quarter. The Panthers also led 27-24 with 4:45 left in the third quarter.
Douglas resumes action today with a 5:30 p.m. game against Bonanza of Las Vegas.
3A Girls' Basketball
Fernley 42, Bishop Manogue 36
Natalie Gonzales scored 19 points, while Melissa Ely contributed 11 points and 10 rebounds, as Fernley rallied to win the opener of its own tournament.
Manogue held a 21-17 halftime lead, but the Miners only managed to score 15 points after the intermission. The Vaqueros used a strong defensive effort to come back and take a 30-29 lead at the end of three quarters.
"The team defensive effort was what won this game," Fernley coach Dave Burns said. "I can't say enough about the girls' effort. It was just sheer hustle."
Earlier, Gonzales scored eight of Fernley's 11 points in the second quarter to help the Vaqueros stay close.
"She was a rock all game long," Burns said of the 5-foot-6 senior. "She never came off the court."
Fernley plays Fallon at 6 p.m. tonight.