Boulder City High School boys basketball team might have had its state tournament trip end earlier than players might have hoped, following a 67-57 loss to defending 3A state champions Churchill County on Feb. 27, but the experience was certainly worth it for this group of Eagles.
Making their first state tournament appearance since 2012, the Eagles pushed the Greenwave to the end, falling gracefully in defeat.
“I’m proud of this group for everything they accomplished,” head coach John Balistere said. “Since we went to realignment eight years ago, no small school has represented the South at state. Obviously, we would have liked to have won and played another game, but this experience was valuable for us. … . Our returning core is going to get a lot of basketball in between now and the start of next year, so I know they’ll be ready to go again next year.”
Mixing it up with the Greenwave, which went on to win its second consecutive 3A state championship, the Eagles trailed 30-20 at half time before falling apart briefly in the third quarter, allowing Churchill County to go on a 20-7 run.
Battling back in the fourth quarter, the Eagles went on a 30-17 run of their own to keep the game respectable, but came up short in the end.
Junior Ethan Speaker, who was named the team’s offensive player and most outstanding player of the year, led the way for the Eagles, scoring 28 points, with 13 rebounds and four steals and assists.
Junior Matt Morton scored 18 points, with six rebounds. He was named athlete of the season for the Eagles.
Senior Jacob Sanford added 4 points and two steals, while junior Matt Felsenfeld added 2 points and steal. The duo shared defensive players of the year honors for the team. Senior Gavin Balistere, who won the Russ Hafen award for the player who symbolizes what Boulder City basketball means, scored 3 points against the Greenwave.
Contact Robert Vendettoli at BCRsports@gmail.com.
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