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The Piedra Vista girls basketball team is turning some heads this year.

“I don’t think we expected to win as many games, but we have and it’s been really fun,” said junior Elaina Watson.

The Panthers are led by freshman Lanae Billy who averages about 17 points a game.

“We’re really good offensively,” she said.  “We’re good at passing the ball and cutting and sharing it which is one of the characteristics the other teams don’t have.”

Piedra Vista made the postseason last year as an eight seed and advanced to the quarterfinals but their playoff run ended there.  This year they hope to go deeper into the state tournament.

“It is a different feeling from last year,” said junior Hallie Blackie.  “Everyone really downplayed us but this year we’re really good.”

“Last year our team was a lot bigger, but we’re a lot faster this year,” said Watson.  “When we press, it’s easier to get to spots,” she added.

“This year’s squad they have unbelievable chemistry, lots of speed, lots of athleticism” explained head coach Joe Reed.  “We’ve had some good basketball players in the past and now we’ve added athleticism to it so we are able to press and up the tempo a little bit.”

Joe Reed is in his sixth year as head coach.  He says this is the best girls team in school history.

“I think as far as girls teams, this is absolutely the best team (in PV history),” he said.  “We’re still grinding and working every day. We’re not good enough to beat people just because our jersey says Piedra Vista on it.  It’s a continued grind, we try to get better every day.”

Earlier this season the Panthers handed previously unbeaten West Mesa their first loss of the year.

“Confidence wise I think it helped them out a little bit,” he said.  “It’s going to help them reach their goals.  Our goals are to win all four district home games and and try to steal two on the road.  So it’s helping us get to where we need to get.”

It’s the toughest district in girls basketball with West Mesa, Farmington and La Cueva all in the top ten.

“This district is tough, you cannot afford to take a night off,” he said.  “You’ve got to grind week in and week out, night in and night out, even practices.  We’re trying to get more physical and up the energy at practice to prepare us for this nightly battle we have to go through in this district.”

The Piedra Vista girls are at West Mesa Tuesday night.

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