By Dave Maxwell

Special to The Ely Times

A strong opening for the White Pine five last weekend at the Serpent Classic in Hawthorne.

Sam Stewart led the way for the team with three wins in their first three games over Virginia City, Pyramid Lake and Smith Valley. However, competition got stronger the final two games, which the Bobcats lost to Pershing County and Mineral County.

On Thursday, the first day of the Classic, White Pine faced off with Virginia City.

Coach Terrill Trask said the first game 46-24 over Virginia City was, “a little bit sloppy, but the first game of the season.” Stewart was the top scorer for the Bobcats.

The next game with Smith Valley, Trask felt was “our best game all around from start to finish. We won 58-26. We were playing well on the team defense we have been working on. Our offense started to be a bit more patient. Everything we have been practicing started to come together.” Colton Rowley and Stewart were the top scorers with 13 point each.

Also on Friday, the boys played Pyramid Lake and won 64-28. However, Trask said the first half was “chaos, as we played too sloppy. But we regrouped in the second half to get the win.” Stewart had 19 points to lead team.

Two games on Saturday were with Pershing County and then host Mineral County.“Pershing County has been playing for a bit longer than us,” said Trask, “and we held them close in the first half, but they got away from us in the second half for a 73-41 loss.” Collin Young had 10 points to lead White Pine.

Mineral County was the final game for the Bobcats at the tournament.   “We played well for most of the game, but we had a stretch of about four minutes where we just turned the ball over too much,” Trask said. “We were leading with about six minutes left, but they got baskets off our turnovers and we ended up losing 66-54.”

Young had several three pointers and 15 points for White Pine. Trask said he is excited about what he sees for the team as the season is beginning. “I think we are going to be pretty competitive (in the strong 2A North). We have the talent and skills, we just have to make sure we play a full game. Ball movement is a key factor. When we had it moving, all worked well, and when we didn’t, it didn’t work well. Still need to work more on being a bit more physical under the basket.”

This Friday the Cats play at Virgin Valley. The Bulldogs are 4-0 on the season at this point. It’s the first meeting between the teams since 2010. Virgin Valley won the last time 73-42.

League play begins Dec. 16-17 on the road at Silver Stage and Yerington.