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Bradley, Tapia star in East-West girls’ game

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By Dave Kavanaugh

Kendra Montoya’s three-point basket from the right wing tied it with less than a minute left.

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And one clutch free throw apiece by Santana Aragon and Abbey Bradley in the game’s closing seconds sealed Robertson’s 56-54 triumph at West Las Vegas on Friday night at Gillie Lopez Gym.

The Lady Cardinals had led most of the night -- by as many as 11 points, 36-25, in the third quarter -- but a ferocious effort by WLV post Michelle Tapia keyed a Lady Don comeback.

West moved in front 50-49 on a pair of Tapia free throws with 2:52 remaining, and Maya Roybal’s bucket off a Deanna Bustos pass made it 52-49.

After Bradley made one of two foul shots with 2:14 to go, Bustos’ lead pass to Fran Gonzales for a layin gave West a 54-50 advantage.

Bradley again drew a foul and made one of two from the line, this time with 1:34 left, to get Robertson within three.

On the Lady Cards’ next possession, Montoya nailed the three-pointer to knot the score at 54 all. Then the Lady Dons mishandled the ensuing possession, and a called jump ball returned control to RHS with 41 seconds left.

Montoya was called for a charge, but then West missed a layup on the other end. Aragon came up with the rebound and got fouled with :21 on the game clock. She made one of two free throws to put Robertson up 55-54.

Then, after West turned the ball over with a traveling violation, the Lady Cards cut some time off the clock before the Lady Dons fouled Bradley. Bradley again converted one of two foul shots to make it 56-54, and West missed a final shot at the buzzer.

The win gave Robertson a split of its two District 2-3A games with the crosstown rival Lady Dons and a second straight district win after a tough start.

It also overshadowed a terrific night by Tapia, who scored 25 of her 28 points in the second half. Tapia also had double digits in rebounding and several assists.

But while Tapia got West back into the game with her relentless work inside the paint, the Lady Dons’ backcourt had one of its worst nights, forcing Tapia and frontcourt mate Roybal to shoulder the offensive load.

And West had no real answer for Bradley, who led Robertson with 25 points and five assists.

Bradley almost outscored the Lady Dons by herself in the first half with 13 as the visitors took a 23-14 halftime lead. West had led 10-7 after a poor shooting first quarter for both sides, but the Lady Dons went more than five minutes without a score before Roybal broke the drought with a couple free throws 2:55 before halftime.

Roybal, who led West in the first half with eight points, also scored her team’s only field goal in the second quarter.

Montoya hit a couple of threes in the third period to help Robertson take its largest lead at 36-25.

Then Tapia, working hard inside, answered with three big buckets to end the quarter, and West got to within 38-31. The Lady Dons continued to chop away at the lead, finally overtaking the Lady Cards at the 2:52 mark.

Unofficial scoring, RHS: Abbey Bradley, 25; Kendra Montoya, 17; Chaylene Sena, 13; Santana Aragon, 1.

WLV: Michelle Tapia, 28; Maya Roybal, 10; Jaylen Gutierrez, 7; Fran Gonzales, 4; Jayme Quintana, 3; Celeste Trujillo, 2.

Note: While Robertson and West have split their district games, with each winning on the road, the teams also met at a neutral site earlier this season. The Lady Cards won 54-49 in the second round of the Capital City Invite on Dec. 14 in Santa Fe.