Closing out the regular season, the Pahranagat Valley girls hosted White Pine from Ely, Feb. 14.
It was a matchup of last year’s 2A and 1A state champions.
Last year, Pahranagat won in Ely. This year, White Pine won 54-47 in Alamo.
Both coaches stated it was “a good game, close throughout.” Pahranagat limited White Pine star Eva Kingston to only nine points from the floor, but they couldn’t keep her off the foul line in the second half, where she was 10 of 11, for her game-high 19 points.
Madison Rick had 13 points but got in early foul trouble and had to sit out most of the second and third quarter. But in the fourth quarter, she was a force to be reckoned with under the basket, scoring five points, just enough to keep the Panthers an elbows length away.
The game was fairly tight. White Pine never had more than a six-point lead.
Pahranagat Valley kept it close thanks to the work of three players who scored in double figures, Morgan Harris with 18 points, Jessica Brede with 12 and McKenzie Poulsen with 11.
The Bobcats won the game primarily because of being 8-for-15 at the foul line in the fourth quarter, with Kingston making five of six. For the game, White Pine was 19-of-26. Pahranagat Valley, meanwhile, was shooting 8-for-17.
Bobcat coach Justin Locke said, “Always give credit to Alamo. They always play us tough, and they’ve had their fair share of wins against us [four since 2007]. We know they are just going to come ready to play, regardless.”
The Lady Panthers put someone in Kingston’s face all night long, usually Becka Taylor, only the second time she has faced that this season.
Locke said, “We had to change our game plan some. Eva’s a point guard, but can play the post as well.”
For Pahranagat Valley, Coach Amy Huntsman said, “I was very proud of the way the girls played, even in a loss. We’ve been working really hard defensively to finish strong, and White Pine is a perfect team to play. We upset them up there last year. I knew they were out for blood, but couldn’t be prouder. I felt that we did everything we had planned to do, played great defense and we never quit. Really happy with where we are at. The problem this game was we put them on the foul line way too many times.”
This week, Feb. 21-23, the Lady Panthers are playing in the 1A Central League-South League regionals in Reno.
At the same time, the West is hosting the East-West league playoffs at Wooster High School and Hug High School.
The combined finals for both leagues will be held at Wooster, Feb. 23,
with the top two finalists advancing to the state tournament March at SLAM Academy in Henderson, and March 2 for the championship at the Orleans Arena.