Dave Maxwell photo
Jill Van tassell drives around Pahranagat Valley’s Jessica Brede in their game last week. White Pine won a tight game 54-47.  Both teams are in their league playoffs this week.

The Ely Times

Closing out the regular season, the White Pine High girls basketball team traveled to Alamo to play Pahranagat Valley on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14.

A non-conference match-up, it was still a meeting of last year’s 2A and 1A state champions. Last year, Pahranagat won in Ely, this year White Pine won 54-47 in Alamo. 

Both coaches stated it was “a good game, close throughout.”  

Pahranagat (9-11) limited White Pine star Eva Kingston to only nine points from the floor, but they couldn’t keep her off the foul line in the second half, where she was 10 of 11, for her game-high 19 points.

Madison Rick had 13 points, but she got in foul trouble early and had to sit out most of the second and third quarter. Back in the lineup in the fourth quarter, she was a force under that basket scoring five points, just enough to keep the Panthers at an elbows length away.

The game was close throughout as White Pine (23-2) never had more than a six point lead and Pahranagat just couldn’t reach the top of the hill.

Pahranagat Valley kept it close on the work of three players in double figures, Morgan Harris with 18 points, Jessica Brede with 12 and McKenzie Poulsen with 11.

The Ladycats won the game primarily because of being 8-for-15 at the foul line in the fourth quarter with Kingston making five of six. For the game, White was 19-for-26. Pahranagat Valley meanwhile, was shooting 8-for-17.

Ladycat coach Justin Locke said, “Always give credit to Alamo, they always play us tough, and they’ve had their fair share of wins against us [four since 2007]. We know they are just going to come ready to play regardless.”

Pahranagat Valley put someone in Kingston’s face all night long, only the second time she has faced that this season. 

Locke said, “We had to change our game plan to some degree because of that. She’s a point guard, but can play the post as well.”

For Pahranagat Valley, coach Amy Huntsman said, “I was very proud of the way the girls played even in a loss. We’ve been working really hard defensively to finish strong and White Pine is a perfect team to play. We upset them up there last year, I knew they were out for blood, but couldn’t be prouder. The problem this game was we put them on the foul line way too many times.”

The six-team 2A Northern Division tournament is Feb. 21-23 at Sparks High School. White Pine (23-2, 15-1), as the No. 1 seed has a first round bye into the semifinals Feb. 22. 

The championship will be Feb. 23 with the two finalists advancing to the state tournament in Las Vegas at El Dorado High in Henderson March 1, then at The Orleans March 2.

In the 2A South tournament in Las Vegas, with Calvary Chapel (19-6) having to forfeit 11 games due to using an ineligible player and  dropping to last place in the league, Needles (27-5) remained the No. 1 team, but Lincoln County (13-10) moved to the No. 2 seed followed by Lake Mead, Laughlin, The Meadows and Adelson.