A new era of Lake Havasu girls basketball officially started Tuesday with a 36-19 home victory over Glendale.
It’s Charles Welde’s first win as head coach. Tuesday’s victory also matches the Knights’ win total from last season. The Knights lone victory last season came against the same Cardinals program that finished winless during the 2020-21 campaign. The Knights never trailed in Tuesday’s game.
“We can’t look at the outcome, we have to look at the process,” Welde said. “We have a lot of mistakes that we have to clean up.”
“We made a little bit of a step today, we just have to keep going forward.”
Welde’s observations from the first game is his team needs to improve on their outside shooting and getting the ball inside the paint.
“We want to make it an emphasis on getting the ball in the paint,” Welde said. “We did that, but the problem is, we got done there and we didn’t know what to do with it a couple of times.”
Both teams had a sluggish start in the first quarter with poor shooting and turnovers. The opening period was scoreless until Knights’ forward Maria Mack made a basket at the 3:17 mark. Those were the only points scored in the quarter. Mack nearly added two more points in the quarter, missing two free throws with 4.7 seconds left.
Mack finished the night as the game’s leading scorer with 15 points. She was the only player of the game to reach double figures.
“By the end, we started to pick it up a little bit,” Mack said. “We learned to play as a team. It was our first game of the season, so it takes a minute to get it together, but by the end, we played pretty well.”
The Knights extended their lead to 8-0 in the second quarter and didn’t allow a point until the 3:45 mark. The Knights went into halftime with a 16-5 lead after outscoring the Cardinals 14-5 in the second quarter.
The third quarter was a struggle for both as they were only able to score six. Mack scored all six of the Knights points in the third quarter. She also had six in the second.
The Knights widened the gap in the fourth quarter with 14 points from four different players. The Cardinals scored eight points in the final period.
“We work hard at practice, so this was expected,” Knights point guard Hannah Gayo said. “We expected to win today and I’m glad we followed through.”
Celeste Switzer was the Knights second-leading scorer, getting seven points off the bench. Brittany Linville (five points), Raya Greene (four) and Gayo (three) were the other Knights’ starters to score.
The Knights have a week to prepare for their next game, which will come at the River Valley Girls Shootout at River Valley High School on Dec. 3-4. According to the AZ Preps 365 website, Havasu will face Kingman Academy of Learning and Lincoln County High-Nevada during the first day of the tournament.