Murrieta Valley finished off its dominating performance in the Nighthawk Classic Girls Basketball Tournament with a 70-44 rout of Redland East Valley. The Nighthawks convincingly re-claimed the title that had eluded them since 2009.
Murrieta Valley eclipsed their tournament opponents from the opening round, beating Beaumont 64-21, Temescal Canyon 73-26 in the second round and destroying Vista Del Lago 70-12 in the semis.
Senior Co-Captain Deshea Wilkes was named the tournament MVP with an outstanding performance throughout the series. She scored nine points, grabbed 10 rebounds and had four assists against the Wildcats.
Karen Wolf was the catalyst and scoring leader for the Nighthawks against REV. She scored 23 points, hauled in 13 rebounds and five steals. Alliah Marshall added in 14 points, four steals and led the team in assists with eight.
Wolf and Marshall were both named to the All-Tournament Team.
The Nighthawks got off to a 21-9 lead in the first quarter, frustrating REV with its press defense. The Wildcats adjusted and came back strong in the second quarter and narrowed gap to 35-30 at halftime.
Coach Scott Richards switched to a zone defense and the Nighthawks shot down Redlands East Valley and out-scored the Wildcats 35-14 in the second half. Final score, Murrieta Valley 70, REV 44.
The Nighthawks also had great games from Ariana Hernandez, who scored 16 points, Brynn Dahmer and her game-leading 17 rebounds, and Alex Morrison’s field goal.
The tournament victory was especially satisfying for Richards.
“When we talked about leaving a legacy behind for our seniors, this is something they really wanted” he said. “Its nice to finally bring that trophy back to us.”
Murrieta Valley will next play Elsinore at home on Jan. 2 at 6:30 p.m. Come out and support the 11-3 Nighthawks as they get ready for league play.