Every fisherman knows the disappointment and frustration of the big one that got away.

That’s the way the Pahranagat Valley Panthers had to feel when they gave up a 12-point fourth-quarter lead and lost to Virgin Valley 52-50 Feb. 1 in Alamo. 

The Bulldogs had a one-point win over the Panthers in Mesquite last year. Coach Michael Strong said, “The same kid [Will Barnum] who hit the winning shot last year did it again this year.”

But it was a big fish to lose because the Bulldogs are a 3A school with eight times the enrollment numbers of PVHS. And even though they are last place in the 3A Sunrise league, what looked like a Panther walk over in the fourth quarter was “the one that got away.”

Leading 36-24 as the final quarter opened, turnovers and points off those turnovers doomed the Panthers, who are now just 2-10 against Virgin Valley since 2009.

Strong said, “Definitely would have liked to have come away with that one. But I am proud of how the boys competed. Big turnaround from where we were last Friday [Jan. 24 loss to Green Valley Christian]. We played a lot better this game.”

But it was the turnover bug that hurt the Panthers so badly in the final seven minutes with a 10-point lead. 

Virgin Valley took full advantage with a 28-point performance in the fourth quarter with eight different players scoring. Brayden Bingham made eight of his team-high 12 points in that quarter. And the Bulldogs were good at the foul line, too, on 11-of-17.

For Pahranagat Valley, Jamison Miller had 17 points and Ira Bowman added 13. At the line, the boys were about the same as Virgin Valley on 9-of-15. 

The night before in a league game at Beatty, Pahranagat Valley continued their long dominance over the Hornets by taking a 40 point, 53-13 win. It was the fewest points allowed to any team by the Panthers this season, the lowest allowed to Beatty in the past 12 years or more and the 15th straight victory over the Hornets.

Bowman had 16 points to lead the Panthers. Preston Higbee scored 11.

This week, the Panthers had a league game with Word of Life Feb. 6, then will host Indian Springs Feb. 7. 

The last games of the regular season will be at Beaver Dam Feb. 11 and hosting Sandy Valley Feb. 14.