Dave Maxwell
Preston Higbee drives up court against Moapa. However, the Pirates won the game, 66-48.

The Moapa Valley boys took a 66-48 win over Pahranagat Valley, Dec. 21, in Alamo.

The Pirates went big-game hunting against the Panthers and showed their speed and aggression from the beginning as they undid Pahranagat, 16-9, in the first quarter, taking a 35-16 lead at halftime.

Coach Mike Strong admitted it was a more physical game than expected, and the referees allowed it, not calling fouls.

Nonetheless, the Panthers were very scrappy themselves, especially in the second half.

Stockton Maxwell was game-high for Pahranagat with 27 points, 17 of which came in the second half. No other Panther player had more than seven points,

In the second half, the Panthers made a run at the Pirates, who might have thought they could sail off with the treasure without a second thought, fighting back to cut a 29-point lead down to 15.

Strong said, “I was proud of the way the boys played in this game; the other night against Lincoln County we didn’t show that, but we had two good practices getting ready for this game and it was nice to see our work carry over to game time. The second half was really telling of what kind of team we can be and who we want to be.”

Pahranagat ambushed the Pirates in the third quarter and early into the fourth quarter.

At one time, Moapa led, 55-26, but with Maxwell leading the charge, Pahranagat cut the lead in half, before Moapa coach Stuart Humes put the starting five back in to quell the squall.

Ten of the 12 Pirate players scored, four in double figures. The team was led by Jerrick Stastny with 12 points, all on 3-point plays, one in each quarter. Jess Lake scored 12 points, Lucas Walker contributed 11, and Joshua Cox tallied 10.

At the foul line, Moapa was 9-of-14. Pahranagat was 9-of-17.

Moapa Valley now has a 4-3 lead in the series between the two teams since 2010. It was their first win since 2015.

The Panthers (5-6) have an away game at Lake Mead on Dec. 29 to close out the year, then will be back in action at Mineral County in Hawthorne, Jan. 4.

As 2018 comes to an end, the top-rated 1A boys teams are Whittell (9-0), Sierra Lutheran (7-1), Tonopah (7-2), and Jackpot (8-5).