Having already lost to Desert Vista earlier this season, Chandler rode a strong defensive outing to an 81-67 victory at home over the Thunder on Friday night.

Senior point guard Dezirae Elias led the Wolves' early pressure, creating turnovers with her intelligent steals and finishing with 16 points. Senior Simone Westbrook scored 23 points in the second half to lead all scorers with 31 against her former team.

"[Dezirae] used her strength against their weakness and we got a few steals," Chandler coach Zon Thompson said. "Everybody stepped up. The contributions are being made."

Thompson has detected a hunger from his team during Chandler's winning streak, which is now extended to six games. With recent victories over Mountain View, Dobson, Corona del Sol and now Desert Vista, the Wolves (16-4, 9-4 in power rankings) are continuing to feed on their momentum.

"That's a very big quality win for us tonight," Thompson said.

In its third game in four nights, Desert Vista (18-5, 10-4) had a hard time maintaining its focus and composure long enough to hang around.

"I knew that they were going to take it to us hard," junior guard Kylie Butler said. "We just had to come harder, but I guess it was just a lack of defense we had. We'll get them next time."

Butler, who led her team with 22 points, continued to play hard into the fourth quarter and brought the Thunder to within nine points with 2 minutes and 20 seconds left. When point guard Emily Wolph (11 points) went to the bench after fouling out with just over five minutes left to play, the team lost its offensive direction.

Despite a sudden two-game losing streak after losing to Mountain View, Desert Vista coach Rachel Proudfoot insisted that her team must continue performing the way they have been all season.

"We don't need to change anything," Proudfoot said. "We just need to get back to the basics."

Attention to the basics was a task the Thunder had difficulty with for much of the game.

Chandler's aggressiveness kept the pressure on Desert Vista, especially after the third quarter. The Thunder went into the fourth down 14 after giving away opportunities that could have brought them closer in the end.

"Turnover-wise, we weren't meeting the pass," Proudfoot said. "On an aggressive team like this, you've got to meet the pass."

Both Proudfoot and Butler recognize that Desert Vista must rest up over the weekend before returning to practice focused on Monday.

As for Chandler, it's not time to slow down.

"We're going to take more confidence, more discipline and the will to win to finish it up," Thompson said.

Chris Cole is interning this semester for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. He is a sophomore at Arizona State University.



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