The Murrieta Valley Nighthawks coasted to an easy 54-19 victory over Notre Dame High School in the opening round Wednesday of the Valley Invitational.
Tournament competition will be going on all week long, with the finals and championship on Saturday.
Girls varsity teams from AB Miller, La Quinta, Citrus Valley, Bloomington and Redlands make up the A pool in the competition. The second pool of teams consists of Murrieta Valley, Palm Desert, Temescal Canyon and Redlands East Valley.
The tournament is set so that on the final day, the first through fifth teams in Pool A play the first through fifth teams in Pool B. The Championship game between the first-place teams from both pools will be at 4 p.m. Saturday.
The Nighthawks dominated the Titans from the opening tip-off. Murrieta Valley held Notre Dame to three points in the first quarter, and nine in the first half. Notre Dame could not find an answer to the Nighthawks' aggressive defense.
In the end, the Titans were contained and overwhelmed by the hustling Nighthawks and managed to score only 10 points in the second half. Coach Scott Richards' team improved its season record to 5-2 with the win.
Karen Wolf led the Nighthawks in scoring with 15 points. Ariana Hernandez had 11 and Deshea Wilkes added nine while Alex Morrison scored seven. Breanna Williams and Brynn Dahmer scored four points apiece, while Aliah Marshall and Julia Cardenas added a basket each to round out the Nighthawk scoring effort.
The Nighthawks will face the Redlands East Valley Wildcats in the second round of play at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
In other basketball news, the Vista Murrieta girls varsity destroyed Westview High School 78-59. Coach Chris Jones’ Broncos are now 6-2 and will play the Lakeside Lancers in the opening round of the San Diams Tournament on Friday.
Murrieta Mesa lost to Fallbrook 54-43 Monday and their record now stands at 4-3. Coach Robert Gergins’ Rams are looking to rebound when they next play Mesa Grande Academy in the Hemet Basketball tournament starting on Dec. 18.