This year was a series of ups and downs for the Lincoln County Lynx. Long before the state tournament came around, the Lynx had looked into the face of adversity and overcome, defeating longtime rivals while also suffering heartbreaking losses. Nevertheless, the Lynx held on and made it into the boys semifinals for the 2A Nevada State Championship.

Their season came to an end there however, as they fell to West Wendover 68-58.

The team’s journey began in Arizona in 2019, with games in Yuma, Casa Grande and Pima. It was a rough start, with the Lynx walking away with two out of four victories. Wins against White Pine and Moapa had the boys back on their feet for a moment, but even then they were only able to secure fourth place with a 2-2 record. Their game against their rivals from down south and the subsequent victory seemed to bolster the Lynx’s confidence, a feeling that only resonated as they put down Mountain View and, in 2020, Calvary Chapel during their first league games. Unfortunately, the Meadows Mustangs humbled the Lynx during an away game, followed by an equally rough loss at Virgin Valley.

Morgan Stackhouse
Junior Cody Zile powers his way to the basket against West Wendover during the state semifinals in Reno.

Something seemed to change in the boys following their near victory in Mesquite, and the next five games showed a completely different team. The Lynx massacred the Mustangs from Needles, laughed at the Laughlin Cougars, knocked out the Mountain View Christian Saints, grounded the Lake Mead Eagles and licked the Adelson Lions. The Moapa Pirates robbed them of a sixth victory, following a comeback from Lake Mead that left the Lynx worse for wear. But soon the boys of Lincoln County were back at it again, racking up another impressive five-game winning streak against familiar foes both home and abroad.

Then came the regional playoffs in Las Vegas. As the first-place team in the league, the Lynx faced off against the third-place Lake Mead Eagles. The rivalry was tense, since both teams had each tasted victory and defeat at the other’s hands, but despite a valiant effort that kept the Eagles within striking distance of Lincoln County until the very end, the Lynx emerged victorious 39-33. 

Next up were the Meadows Mustangs who fell to the Lynx with a score of 64-50. 

The Lynx then moved on to the NIAA / One Nevada State Championships in Reno, where they faced the Wolverines and came up short. Throughout the game, the Lynx weren’t able to wrest control from their opponents. The Wolverines ultimately took the victory from Lincoln County 68-58.

After taking a one-point lead at the end of the first quarter, the Lynx were outscored in the second and third frames and entered the fourth behind by 11. The team fought hard but couldn’t overcome a balanced attack from West Wendover, which was led by senior Jesus Gonzalez with 16 points, 13 rebounds and four steals.

Junior Cody Zile paced the Lynx with 22 points on 6 of 17 shooting. Zile also had seven rebounds, including five offensive, and three steals. Junior Kobe Kelley had 16 points on 7 of 20 shooting, with three rebounds, three assists and two steals.

In his final game with the Lynx, Senior Mason Thornock grabbed nine rebounds and scored seven points. 

In the end, the Lynx showed their determination and pulled themselves out of a rut that would have swallowed other teams whole. The team says goodbye to seniors Ashton Miller, Mason Thornock, Dylan Robinson and Jaydon Heaton. As for the future, fans of the team have pointed out that the Lynx are still young. Two of their best players, Kobe Kelley and Cody Zile, are only juniors, and with more training, they have the capacity to come back even stronger next year.