The victory runs their unofficial league record of 62-3 since 2007. Unofficial because scores of four league games in 2011 were not reported.
The Alamo girls fashioned a 20-7 first half lead, let the Sidewinders catch up a bit in the third quarter, then blew them out in the final quarter 19-5.
Panther coach Amy Huntsman said Sandy Valley has built a nice program. “They’ve been working for years to build their program and have some nice players. I just think we have a little bit more experience, because they are pretty young. And we were able to use our team speed to our advantage and that was the biggest difference in the game. We have a lot of pretty quick girls and it’s across the board, the majority of the team is pretty fast. That helps.”
The Sidewinders played the Panthers almost even in the third quarter. Huntsman said, “You never know if you are going to come out after halftime and be really aggressive or be a little bit soft, and Sandy Valley is a good team.” Coach Jamie Pascua has had two good seasons with the Sidewinders, 7-6 last year, 9-6 this year, after being 4-10 in 2012-13.
Sandy Valley and Beaver Dam, both in their first ever Southern Division IV playoff appearance, met Wednesday at Sandy Valley. The winner moves on to face Round Mountain in the league semi-finals on Friday.
Smith Valley, McDermitt, Eureka, Pyramid Lake and Wells are the main contenders in the Northern Division IV and their league tournament is Feb. 20-21 at Spring Creek.
Meanwhile, in Southern Division III, the Lincoln girls had an easy win over fifth place Agassi, 60-30, to close out the regular season. Agassi (8-12, 8-8) missed out on the four-team league tournament this year. The Stars have only made one tournament appearance and that in 2013.
Against Agassi this time, “It didn’t start out quite so easy,” Lincoln coach Lori Cheeney said. “We had a slow start in the first quarter, we weren’t up by much, I think it was 11 to 12, we weren’t up by much. This time of year, our goal is preparing for the post season tournament, so I left my starters quite a bit longer than I normally would have, because I am trying to push them.” No game stats were reported.
Since 2006, the Lincoln girls have done well in Southern Division III league play. They have a record of 88-20, which includes league championships in 2014, 2012, 2011; league tournament championships in 2014, 2013, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2006; league tournament runner-up finishes in 2011, 2008.
They have appeared in the state tournament in 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009,2008, 2006, and were state tournament runners-up in 2013, 2009, and 2008.
The Lincoln girls last state championship was when they completed four in a row, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997.
The Lady Lynx are one of only six teams to have won the girls state title four years in a row, along with McQueen, Mineral County (who did it twice), Centennial, and Pahranagat Valley. Mineral County and Pahranagat also have both won five in a row.