Kristina Lloyd
Sophomore Talon Phillips goes up for the shot against Virgin Valley.

On Jan. 18-19, the Lincoln County High boys basketball team took on 3A teams Moapa Valley and Virgin Valley.

They split the games, beating Virgin Valley, 63-49, on Friday, Jan. 18, at home. Moapa Valley then took the win against the Lynx at the Pirate’s home gym the next day, 70-62.

Coach Sean FitzSimons said, “We scheduled the games last weekend to prepare us for the homestretch. I’m really proud of the effort.”

On Friday, Virgin Valley presented a formidable opponent. The first quarter consisted of a battle to stay ahead for the Lynx. The second quarter was tight as well, but by the third quarter, Lincoln had secured the lead. The boys stayed strong throughout the fourth quarter to take the 63-49-point win.

The win was spread successfully over the team, with each of the boys contributing to the score. Cody Zile and Alex Vincent continually scored on layups. Matt Hafen put in a few three-pointers.

Hafen dropped 19 points. Vincent and Zile both had 16. Zile had 14 rebounds.

FitzSimons said, “It was a great home game. Lots of energy. We came out and wanted to set the tone early and I thought we played together as a team..”

The dynamic was different at Moapa the next day. Neither of the teams scored for the first couple minutes. When they began to put the ball in, the score was back and forth. Lincoln ended up two points behind to start the second half.

Kelley, Vincent, and Hafen put in shots from behind the arc. Talon Phillips and Zile worked on the inside. The points in the third quarter were crucial to Lincoln’s obtaining the lead, but foul trouble gave Moapa points at the foul line. It went from a two-point game to an 11-point game. Lincoln couldn’t catch a break in the final stretch, and Moapa won by eight.

Zile led the scoring with 24 points, 11 rebounds, and a block. Alex Vincent followed with 18 points. Talon Phillips had a block, six rebounds, and two steals. Kelley had nine points and two steals.

FitzSimons said, “I thought we had a chance to win it, but we just lost it in the late third quarter. We wanted to schedule that game for the atmosphere. It kind of felt like a playoff game, if you will. We wanted the boys to be exposed to that experience. The crowd, the band, and the larger gym. I would’ve liked to win it, but came up short. We’ll take it. Just regrouping and getting ready for the final push in league.”

The Lynx are 13-6 overall and 7-1 in the 2A Southern League, tied with Calvary Chapel for the top spot in the league.

Jan. 25-26, Lincoln County has two important league games in Las Vegas. The team will play Calvary on Friday at 7 p.m. On Saturday, they play The Meadows School (9-8, 8-2) at 3 p.m.