Two-time defending Division IV state champion Pahranagat Valley girls won’t have to face pre-tourney favorite Smith Valley at the state tournament today in Reno, but they will have to play surprise No. 1 seed McDermitt instead.
Smith Valley, with senior star player Kelley Rogaczewski, were upset by Owyhee in the semifinals of the northern division regionals last weekend, and taking their place are the McDermitt Bulldogs.
Pahranagat and Smith Valley played in last year’s state finals, won by PVHS, and they played in the state volleyball finals in November with Rogaczewski leading Smith Valley to a 3-0 win over the Lady Panthers.
As the No. 2 seed from the south, Pahranagat plays McDermitt in the final game of the state tournament semifinals tonight at 8 p.m. at Reed High School.
The teams have played each other only twice this century, with McDermitt winning both, a non-league meeting in 2014 and the state tournament semifinals in 2010.
The Bulldogs (25-2), riding a nine game winning streak, are averaging 59 points per game to 33.9 for Pahranagat (12-10).
The Lady Panthers were nearly upset themselves in the semifinals of the southern regional tournament in Las Vegas last week, holding off a furious fourth-quarter rally by Beatty to edge the Hornets 39-37.
Madalyn Taylor scored 14 points as the game was tied at halftime to give the Panther girls a 35-24 lead with 6:05 remaining. But Maggie Cathcart and Arianna Osequera hit back-to-back three pointers to pull within 35-30 while the Panthers themselves had gone cold.
Taylor stepped up and got her team back on track with three points to push the score to 38-34.
Beatty’s Alexia Gill did make a three that made it a one-point game 38-37 with 40 seconds left, but they didn’t get the ball back.
Allyse Frehner had 10 points for PVHS. Denise Gonzales had 12 points for Beatty and Alexis Gill 11.
On Saturday, Pahranagat faced off again with Round Mountain and state scoring and free throw shooting leader Alyssa Hanks in the championship.
The teams played fairly even for three quarters, with the Knights only leading 25-22. Then, as has been normal most of the season, Hanks did exceedingly well at the foul line in the fourth quarter.
Surprisingly, Round Mountain scored only four baskets in the second half against the Pahranagat defense, but was 12 of 18 at the foul line with Hanks making 9 of 12 in the final period. She finished with a game high 21 points.
But the Panthers were not any better in the second half from the floor, only going 6 for 31 (19.4 percent).
Round Mountain coach Jake Topholm said putting strong defense on Alamo’s top player, sophomore guard Karley Whipple, was important. Whipple scored just four points on 1 of 9 shooting with few good looks. Madi Williams had 11 points for the Panthers.
At state this weekend, Round Mountain (18-5) faces Owyhee (15-7), the No. 2 northern seed, at 4:40 today at Reed High School. The championship is Saturday at 2:40 at the Lawlor Events Center, UNR.