For the most part, at least, Wednesday’s District 2-3A girls’ basketball showdown between third-seeded West Las Vegas and fourth-seeded Robertson was evenly matched.
But one key stretch in the second quarter shifted momentum from the Lady Cardinals to the Lady Dons, and the home team was able to protect its lead after that en route to a 64-58 triumph.
As a result, West is playing in tonight’s semifinal at second-seeded St. Michael’s, and RHS is left to watch and wait.
The significant sequence came in the middle of the second period after three ties and three lead changes — reminiscent of the teams’ last meeting at Gillie Lopez Gym. Robertson’s Daniella Montoya had scored on layup and a pair of foul shots late in the first quarter, and Kim Mares had buried a three-pointer from the right wing to start the second. West’s Miranda Martinez answered with a layup, but RHS led 19-15 after Kassandra Tapia’s free throws with 7:18 to play in the first half.
Then Linda Esquibel showed up.
The Lady Dons junior scored, then stole the ball and raced back for a layup. After a defensive stop, she drifted out to the left wing and nailed a three-pointer.
After another stop by West, Kristen Encinias, hobbled by a tender ankle, drew contact and sank two foul shots with 3:18 left in the period.
And so, in that four-minute span, a nine-point swing put the Lady Dons ahead 24-19.
For more on the game and tourney, please see Thursday's print version of the Optic.