Think back to the last time, if ever, you saw a basketball team get shut out in the first half.
Pahranagat Valley did that to Tonopah in the boys game at Alamo last week.
Culen Highbe scored all 11 of his points in the first half as the Panthers (13-8, 5-2) grabbed a 30-0 halftime lead on their way to a 39-22 win over the Muckers (4-12, 2-4). In fact, Tonopah’s first score did not come until 6:11 in the third quarter, a three-pointer by Hunter Galli who led Tonopah with six points.
Pahranagat was 7-for-12 at the foul line (58 percent) and Tonopah 9-for-17 (52.9 percent).
The 22 points is not the fewest the Muckers have scored against the Panthers this century. In 2011 and 2012, Tonopah managed only 20 points in two loses.
Since 2005, Pahranagat is 10-1 against the Muckers, the one loss coming in 2014 when Alamo went 8-18.
At Round Mountain on Saturday, the Panthers kept hold of their league tournament playoff spot, topping Round Mountain 59-38. Culen Highbe led the team with 15 points, Tabor Maxwell added 14 and Cody Williams had 10.
Zach Duncan had 10 points for Round Mountain, who have two crucial games left with Beatty and at Beaver Dam to try to claim the No. 6 playoff spot.
The Panthers kept up the pressure on a cold-shooting Round Mountain team, scoring in double figures in each quarter and just pulled away in the fourth quarter. It was the 11th straight win over the Knights since 2008.
Coach Mike Strong said PVHS was pretty good defensively. “We were trapping them a bit, creating the turnover. That was more of a telling factor than Round Mountain shooting poorly. We also had balanced scoring, which was really nice.”
This weekend, the Panthers (14-8, 6-2) play at Beaver Dam (6-7, 3-3), and at Mountain View (16-6) on Saturday.
They play at White Pine Feb. 11 and close out the regular season Feb. 12 hosting Indian Springs (4-12, 0-5).
Strong said playing two non-league games at the end of the season is designed to be a boost for the team. “Mountain View is really quick, shoot really well and score a lot of points. The White Pine game is one that we wanted during the holiday break,” he said, “but couldn’t fit it in, so we tack it on here. It’s kind of what we need. Both teams are similar to the way the better teams in our league play, and we wanted some good competition to get us ready for the playoffs.”