Struggling through a difficult basketball season after a championship football season, Pahranagat Valley High boys basketball coaches have said the boys are going to get better.
At Wells Jan. 11, after falling behind 19-9, they showed some of that improvement, wiping out a poor first quarter, and in the second and third quarters demonstrated some toughness that allowed them to claw their way back into the game, eventually holding a 35-32 lead at the end of three quarters.
But, Wells senior leadership did what their fans expect them to do and made the plays down the stretch to pull out a close 48-46 win. The teams had played about a month earlier in the Virginia City tournament and Wells won that one by two points also.
Trailing 26-20 at halftime, Pahranagat Valley used a smaller lineup and trapped the Leopards whenever possible, putting two men on the ball handler, often forcing turnovers, which at times led to Panther points, and PVHS used an 11-0 run to take the third quarter lead.
But as has been the case for the Panthers this season, they have trouble holding off the other team, and in the fourth quarter Wells outscored them 16-11.
However, all that did not happen until late in the game when Wells leading scorer Andrew Woolsey, who only had three points at the time, came alive, after the Leopards other main scorer, Armando Soriano had fouled out.
In the final minute couple of minutes, the teams exchanged the lead several times.
Wade Leavitt gave PVHS a 43-42 lead with 43 second remaining, and Jacob Roemer hit two foul shots to tie the game at 44 and another to give Alamo a 45-44 lead with 23 seconds left. But Woolsey gave the lead back to Wells 46-45 with 13 seconds. After a Panther turnover, Woolsey made two free throws for a 48-45 lead.
Leavitt was fouled hard on a three-point try with 0.5 remaining and had to have a teammate shoot the free throws, but he made only one of three tries.
Leading by two points on the following inbounds play, Wells threw the ball out of bounds with no time coming off the clock, giving the Panthers the ball under their own basket and a chance to win the game on a three pointer, but the shot was off the mark.
Woolsey had 13 points for the Leopards, Soriano had 12. Tabor Maxwell was high point for Pahranagat with 12.
Pahranagat won the JV boys game 36-32 in overtime.
On Jan. 10, Pahranagat Valley played their first league game of the season, and were surprised by a very athletic and aggressive Word of Life team, and ended up losing their first league game since Feb. 2010, by a score of 42-32.
The very quick of hand and foot Eagles seemed to have a hand on every ball on defense, and often worked down the key, especially senior Isiah Manabat, either scoring or drawing a foul. Manabat finished with 15 points. Elijah Hoye contributed 13 points and Edozieum Okafor had 10.
Maxwell had 10 points for Pahranagat Valley, who only were 1 of 3 at the foul line, while Word of Life was 12 for 27.
PVHS (2-14) played a non-league game at White Pine on Thursday and hosts Indian Springs in a league game this Saturday. It’s the start of five of their next six games at home.