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Lady Dons coast past Thoreau

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By Dave Kavanaugh

When she wasn’t dishing the ball to teammates for assists, Linda Esquibel was putting it in the basket herself Saturday evening, leading West Las Vegas to its fifth victory — all by 14 points or more — in as many games.

This time the opponent was the visiting Thoreau Hawks, who fell by a 57-42 margin at Gillie Lopez Gym.

Esquibel opened the contest by passing to set up baskets by Miranda Martinez and Vanessa Lucero. It was only a matter of time before she got into the action herself.

Oh, did she.

She slashed through the lane, converted on fast-break layups, swished foul shots and even dropped a three-point bomb on the Hawks en route to a game-high 21 points.

As a team, the Lady Dons defended well, forcing Thoreau into bad shots and creating multiple transition opportunities. And on the other end, they were unselfish, frequently making the extra passes to set each other up for shots.

Martinez scored 13, including three three-pointers. One came just as the buzzer sounded to end the first half, putting the Lady Dons ahead 26-15.

Vanessa Lucero added eight points. Five of them she scored in the opening period as West took a 14-6 lead. Later, with 1:32 left in the third quarter, she’d complete an old-fashioned three-point play that gave her team a 45-24 bulge — the largest of the game to that point.

Brianna Montaño, increasingly a reliable scoring threat, had 11 points. Victoria Lopez and Marisol Sanchez each chipped in two points.

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Also this weekend, West’s boys lost two games — Friday at Newcomb and Saturday at Thoreau, 57-51, after staying close. Halftime score was 28-25.