69°F
weather icon Clear

Boys’ season ends with tough loss

The Boulder City High School boys basketball team lost to Mojave 67-66 in the Class 3A Southern Region semifinal Saturday, Feb. 23, at Del Sol, falling short of their goal of a state championship.

With Boulder City nine seconds away from its first 3A state tournament appearance since 2012, Mojave’s Damon McDowell knocked down a pair of free throws to end the Eagles’ season.

“Saturday was a tough night,” said head coach John Balistere. “It still stings, very tough to swallow. Credit to their kids. They made plays when they had to down the stretch, made some free throws. I really feel for our guys.”

Ahead for nearly the entire game, the Eagles led 64-56 following a basket by sophomore Ethan Speaker with 1:30 remaining. But the Rattlers rallied with a 10-2 run behind a smothering full-court defense.

Boulder City turned the ball over on three consecutive possession to fuel the Rattlers’ comeback in the final minute.

“It’s really tough to lose when you lead the game for 31 minutes and 45 seconds,” said Balistere. “I think if we had one more timeout down the stretch, we could have settled them down. The game was very physical. … The referees were letting them play, and it was getting chippy. We had some guys foul out earlier that we could have used, but I have to give credit to this group because they never stop playing. Even when things were getting away from us, they kept battling.”

Speaker had 18 points, while senior forward Karson Bailey led the Eagles with 20 points. Senior forward Derrick Thomas added 14 points.

An emotional scene played out afterward as Bailey, a four-year varsity letter winner, reflected on the ups and downs of his final season.

“We had a really good season this year, and I’m really proud of the way we played and competed the whole season,” he said. “I think my career ended too soon, and I’ve never had a more difficult moment in my sports career than to lose after giving everything I had this season. I hope that the effort and way I played throughout my career can have a positive influence on the returning players and the program.”

The Eagles will have a tough time replacing Bailey and Thomas, but the team still has some bright stars on its roster.

“Matt (Morton) and Ethan (Speaker) are both going to be very special players for them next year,” Bailey said. “They were huge parts of our success this year, and I was so lucky to have them as my teammates. They will definitely have to take on more responsibility next year, but I know that they will both continue to grow and have success in the rest of their basketball careers.”

Playing large roles this year in the Eagles starting five, Speaker averaged 13.1 points, 9.2 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal per game, while Morton averaged 9.9 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.5 steals per game.

Thomas finished his senior season averaging 18.2 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2 steals, while Bailey averaged 13.5 points, 7.9 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.6 steals per game.

Contact Robert Vendettoli at BCRsports@gmail.com.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Eagles best Pirates — finally

Boulder City High School’s football team defeated Moapa Valley 15-12 on Friday, Oct. 11, picking up a monumental victory.

Focus, determination guide Lady Eagles

Boulder City High School girls volleyball team has remained focused on the task at hand, one game at a time, even as it dominated league play throughout the season.

Roundup: Soccer teams see mixed results

Experiencing mixed results this week, Boulder City High School boys soccer team defeated rival Virgin Valley on Tuesday, Oct. 15, after falling to rival Moapa Valley on Friday, Oct. 11.

City Recreation, Oct. 17

Youth soccer players get gift, tickets to game from Lights

Homecoming was grand ‘SLAM’ for Eagles

Picking up their first league victory, homecoming was good to the Boulder City High School football program Friday, Oct. 4.

Girls poised to take state title

Boulder City High School girls golf team ended its season in the 3A Sunrise League undefeated after a victory on its home course Oct. 2.

Rocks mysteriously wander on Death Valley’s Racetrack

If you have a taste for adventure and don’t mind brain-rattling washboard roads, you should head out to Death Valley National Park’s Racetrack, one of the California park’s most famous sights. Because there is danger of being stranded, it’s strictly a trip for the cooler months.

Roundup: Lady Eagles take title at Lake Mead invite

Running their best on their home turf, Boulder City High School girls cross-country team placed first at the Lake Mead Invitational at Veterans’ Memorial Park on Saturday, Oct. 5.

Tourney win makes history

For the first time in school history, Boulder City High School girls volleyball team has won its Boulder City Invitational.

Cross-country runners stay on pace to qualify for state

Traveling to Foothill High School on Sept. 28 for the 4A-laden Falcon Invitational, both Boulder City High School cross-country programs held their own against steep competition.