Youth and inexperience were the main factors for the Pahranagat Valley girls basketball team, the defending 1A state champions, losing all four games last weekend at the Wells Rural Electric tournament.
Coach Amy Huntsman, starting her 25th year, only has one returning starter from last year’s team, senior Morgan Harris.
Harris suffered a strained knee early in the tournament and was not available for two or three of the games.
In addition, several of the Lady Panthers got a bit of a late start on basketball practice due to being on the state championship volleyball team.
In the first game at Wells, the Panthers were pitted against Eureka, the team they defeated in the state semifinals last year. This year, however, Eureka is the stronger team, with two returning senior starters and strong support off the bench.
The Vandals outscored the Panthers, 20-7, in the fourth quarter to take a 49-29 win. Eureka’s Morgan Thomas stole the ball several times and fed teammate Angelica Townsend for layups.
The second game at Wells was against McDermitt and star player Precious Masters. She pumped in 26 points, leading the Bulldogs to a 56-24 win. Masters was the 1A girls state scoring leader in 2017 before her team was upset in the Northern regional tournament semifinals.
With Harris hurt and unable to play the next two games, the Panthers lost both. The scores and results were not reported.
Despite the youth and inexperience of the team, Huntsman thinks Pahranagat is still a traditional power to be reckoned with and expects to be in the mix of the top 1A girls teams in the state.
This weekend, Dec. 6-8, the girls are at the Comstock Classic in Virginia City and are scheduled to play McDermitt again, followed by Battle Mountain, Sierra Lutheran, and Coleville.