Playing their last home game of the season on Feb. 14, the Pahranagat Valley High boys basketball team climbed over the .500 mark for the season with a strong second-half effort that resulted in a 60-46 non-conference win over visiting White Pine County.
The Panthers opened a quick 12-2 lead at the start, but the Bobcats then turned things around, outscored PVHS 9-6, and finished the quarter trailing 18-11.
In the second quarter, Phoenix Ball provided a spark for White Pine with 10 of his team-high 17 points to give the Bobcats a 30-29 halftime lead.
But the second half belonged to PVHS as defense and offense worked together to outscore White Pine 31-16.
Kyler Martin had seven points in the third quarter, and Stockton Maxwell added eight points to his 25-point total.
What helped Pahranagat was a very good night at the foul line in the second half. They were 9-of-10 the final two periods and 10-of 11 for the game.
White Pine was 8-for-11 in the second half, 9-of-13 for the game.
Only four Bobcats scored in the second half. Ball had seven points and Devin Starkey added four, all on free throws.
Kincaid Waggener did not play for White Pine. His presence might have made a difference.
Coach Terrill Trask said, “Ball played one of his best games. He’s been playing hard for us, and one of his best shooting games. He’s a kid who works extra hard every day.”
Trask said the team still had a chance to make it into the six-team 2A Northern division playoffs by having a play-in game earlier this week with North Tahoe or Battle Mountain.
Pahranagat coach Michael Strong complimented his team for playing better in the second half. “We had just been standing on defense, so I had the boys start moving more and we were able to put more pressure on them and affect their shooters more, and rebound the missed shots better. The kids did a really nice job of hustling and getting to where they needed to be. Phoenix Ball for them played well. We had a tough time keeping him in front of us, quick to the basket as he is.”
On Feb. 15, the Panthers finished their regular season with a 46-43 loss to 3A Somerset Sky Pointe in Las Vegas.
This week, Feb. 21-22, Pahranagat (12-12) began play in the 1A Central-South regional playoffs at Reed High School.
The regional finals are Feb. 23 at Wooster High in Reno. The two finalists advance to the state tournament semifinals March 1 at SLAM Academy in Henderson. The championship will be March 2 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.