It just wasn’t the year for Pahranagat Valley boy’s basketball. Yet it must be noted even though the team had a tough year, they always showed plenty of heart and grit to the end, never giving up until the final horn, and sometimes even pulling out a come from behind win.
The Panthers, behind a season high 22-points by Cody Williams, beat Round Mountain 63-43 on Wednesday last week in a Southern League tournament first round game, but had to face No. 1 Adelson in the semifinals on Friday, and lost 57-32
Again it proved to be the athleticism of the Lions that won over the Panthers.
However, for the first few minutes, Adelson (17-2) played a little tight, missing their first four shots and turning the ball over twice. But, the Southern League regular-season champions heated up quickly and never looked back.
Rome Izkovich scored 13 points, and Robert Blackwell added 10 points to lead the Lions to the school’s first state tournament berth.
Brandon Pappas connected on a pair of 3-pointers that ignited a 12-0 Adelson spurt in the second quarter that pushed the lead to 31-6 with 3:47 left in the first half. Pahranagat Valley never got closer than 21 points from there. Jacob Elharar added 10 points for Adelson.
Shawn Wadsworth scored 12 for the Panthers (8-18), who otherwise struggled on offense. Pahranagat hit only three field goals in the first half, and didn’t make a 3-pointer until 4:35 was left in the third quarter.
PVHS did alright at the free throw line, 11 of 16 (68 percent), and Adelson was 7 for 12 (58 percent).
The loss marks the first time since 2007 the Panther boys have not made it to the league tournament finals.
Alamo Coach Mike Strong said, “Even though it was a rocky season for us, I thought we ended pretty well, saw the kids improve, and definitely work really, really hard all season long.”
Commenting about the heart and staying power of the team, Strong said, “Even when things looked dim, they still played really hard. Never had any quit in them. I think as a coach, if you’ve got that, you’ve got to be pretty happy, even when the going gets a little tough.”
In the other semi-final game, Spring Mountain easily topped Word of Life 79-38, then on Saturday won their first league tournament title, edging Adelson 74-69. Both teams advance to the state tournament in Reno this weekend. It is the third straight appearance for Spring Mountain.
Spring Mountain (14-13) play the Whittell Warriors of Zephyr Cove (23-4), No. 2 from the North League, at 4:40 p.m. Friday afternoon, and Adelson faces Virginia City (22-5), No. 1 from the North, and last year’s state runner-up, at 8 p.m. Winners advance to Saturday’s state championship game at the Lawlor Center on the UNR campus at 7:45 p.m.