By Dave Maxwell

White Pine just did not play well in the first half of any of their three games at the Virgin Valley Bulldog Invitational in Mesquite last weekend. They fell behind by halftime in all three of their games and although the boys played the opponent fairly even in the second half, even better in the last two games, coach Terrall Trask admitted it was the first half that was their undoing.

“That was the demon on the weekend, slow starts. We just couldn’t get out of the gate and spotted every team 20 points,” he said. “Just too big of a hole in the first half.”The first game was against host and unbeaten host Virgin Valley. It was the first meeting between the two teams since 2010, The Bulldogs controlled nearly everything in the first half, jumping out to a 35-15 lead, and continued strong in the second half on their way to a 65-29 win.

Colton Rowley had eight points and Chris Piscovich had seven to lead the Cats. Sam Stewart however was limited to just five points. “Not a lot of scoring from anyone in that game. It was a challenge,” Trask said.

Virgin Valley had three players in double figures. Devin Cox had 18, Andrew Mermmot and Jared Tietjen added 11 each. In second game in Mesquite was with Mohave and a 64-47 loss.

Here again the first half was the problem as the Rattlers built a 37-19 lead at the break. The teams played almost even in the second half, but the Cats couldn’t overcome that 18 point lead.

Stewart had a fine game with 17 points. Rowley and Collin Young contributed nine points each.  Tyrique Watson scored 20 points to lead Mohave.

The second game on Saturday was a 60-43 loss to 3A Moapa Valley, with the same first half scenario as the other games. Moapa took a 33-14 lead into the halftime locker room, and the second half was pretty even. Rowley was big for the Cats with 15 points and Stewart had 11. But this time also, Moapa Valley had three players in double figures, Nathaniel Thompson with 18, Cameron Larson with 11 and Chase Kruse added 10.

League play begins this weekend, Dec. 16-17 on the road at Silver Stage (3-2) and Yerington (5-1). Trask said, “We learned what we need to work on as we go into league play this week and get better starts. Haven’t seen Silver Stage, but did see Yerington at the tournament in Hawthorne. Yerington — last year’s state runner up — has some good shooters but I think we can match up well with them as long as we get off to a better start.”