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April 19, 2014

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Liberty, Foothill will meet a third time this winter in girls title game

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Liberty basketball players Amanda Delgado, Chanel Nacua, Jade Washington and Destiny Whitehead.

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Playoff bracket breakdown

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Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer discuss their way through the Sunrise and Sunset playoff brackets. They disagree on the early rounds, but come to a consensus on who will advance to the state championship.

Two Henderson area girls basketball teams Thursday won Sunrise Regional semifinal games to advance to Friday’s title game.

Liberty, the Southeast Division champions, made quick work of Canyon Springs in a 78-42 win. Foothill didn’t have it as easy, using a pair of free throws from Christina Nash with 11.9 seconds to play in a 39-38 victory against Valley.

“We know what we are going to get with Liberty,” Foothill coach Mike Collins said. “We have our work cut out for us. It’s going to be a good game tomorrow. I’ll use my bigs and he’ll use his bigs. We’ll see who comes out on the best end of that from the rebounding side of it.”

Nash’s two free throws put the end to a game that went back and forth all night.

“When I went to the free throw line, I wasn’t pressured at all,” Nash said. “I was like, I do this every day. I shoot my free throws. It’s just going to come natural and it’s going to go in. I wasn’t thinking about if I missed it. I was just thinking about making my free throws.”

Valley had a shot to win the game with seconds to play, but Christina Davis’ missed a mid-range jump shot to end the season for the Northeast Division champion Vikings.

Valley had several chances to win, especially at the free throw line, where it made just 11-of-31 attempts.

The second girls Sunrise Regional semifinal was not near as dramatic as the first.

Liberty, which finished the regular season a perfect 14-0 in league play, began to pull away in the second quarter by outscoring Canyon Springs 21-9 to take a 40-23 halftime advantage.

The Patriots continued the onslaught in second half as Liberty outscored Canyon Springs 38-19 for the lopsided win.

“It’s going to be a dogfight,” Liberty coach Quitin Lester said of the title game with Foothill. “Coach Collins always has his team prepared to play us. They are very good at slowing opponents down, and I would like to speed it up. It’s going to be an interesting clash of styles.”

The title game will be the third time the teams have met this season.

The Patriots won both meeting — 60-45 on Jan. 11 and 66-42 on Feb. 4.

Senior point guard Jade Washington had a team-high 17 points against Canyon Springs, Chanel Nacua finished with career-high 14, Destiny Whitehead added 11 and Alena Evans had 10.

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