Nighthawks down Titans, 73-26

The Murrieta Valley Nighthawks girls’ varsity basketball team continued to roll through its own tournament – the 17th Annual Nighthawk Classic – as they improved their record to 9-3.

They opened with a 64-21 win over the Beaumont Cougars. Aliah Marshall led all scorers with 15 points; she also had three rebounds and five steals. Karen Wolf and Alex Morrison contributed 11 points each; Brynn Dahmer had eight and DeShea Wilkes had seven. Wilkes had nine rebounds, Dahmer and Wolf had eight each.

The Temescal Canyon Lady Titans blew through Vista Del Lago 55-30 in their tourney opener. Janae Peterson – one of only two Division 3 players in the top ten in the state for both scoring and rebounding – finished with 21 points, 14 rebounds and two blocked shots. Shooting forward Stephanie Opp had 12 points, 11 rebounds, one black and three assists in the victory.

Murrieta Valley was able to hold Peterson well below her averages (20.6 points and 15.3 rebounds) to run away with a 73-26 win. Marshall had 17 points and six steals; Wilkes had 16 points, 12 rebounds and eight steals; Wolf had 10 points and nine rebounds; sophomore guard Ariana Hernandez had 11 points. The aggressive Nighthawk defense had 23 steals and held Peterson to 12 points.

Murrieta Valley (9-3) advanced to play Vista del Lago (1-10) and Temescal Canyon (4-9) to face Beaumont (5-5) in pool play Friday. The other pool features teams from Redlands East Valley, West Valley, Elsinore and San Jacinto. The tournament finals were held on Saturday, Dec. 29. Scores will follow in an upcoming issue.

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