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Eagles’ flat performance belies skills to outperform opponents

Even when not playing up to its potential, Boulder City High School boys basketball team is still a mismatch for other programs. Nowhere was that more evident than their 62-36 rout of rival Virgin Valley on Tuesday, Jan. 15.

“We came out a little flat tonight but it was still a good team win,” head coach John Balistere said. “We need to come out and play with a lot more energy. We lacked at times on the defensive end. We can always play better.”

Unsatisfied with the group’s effort level after a 26-point win, it’s scary to think what the Eagles can accomplish when they’re at their best.

Looking every bit like the top team in the 3A classification, the Eagles ran the Bulldogs off their home court with a 22-5 second quarter effort to put the game out of reach early.

“It’s always a big game when you go to a rival’s gym,” senior Karson Bailey said. “There is no better feeling in the world then taking it to your rivals on their home floor and getting league play started off right. We didn’t play our best but everyone is happy with the win.”

Spreading the ball around effectively, the Eagles had three scorers in double figures, led by senior Derrick Thomas, who scored a game-high 16 points.

Fueling the effort, Bailey added 12 points and sophomore Ethan Speaker added 10 points. In total, 10 players scored at least 2 points for the Eagles, the majority coming off of Virgin Valley turnovers.

“I think the team played well, especially when we executed our trap defense,” Thomas said. “Our trap defense turned steals into easy transition buckets.”

Off to a 13-3 start, the Eagles also routed Pahrump Valley 57-19 on Friday, Jan. 11, in a game coach Balistere said he saw the type of effort level that he would like to see every game.

“The difference in the Pahrump game was our energy level from the start,” Balistere said. “They came out ready to play. We jumped on them early and did a nice job of sustaining a lead.”

With three scorers in double figures, Thomas led the effort with 16 points, Bailey added 13 points and sophomore forward Matt Morton added 10 points against the Trojans.

Balistere said he still wants more from this group, especially with an approaching meeting at Chaparral on Wednesday. Having trouble with the Cowboys in years past, Balistere said he is hopeful to get a consistent effort out of the boys.

“Playing up to our potential and not down to our opponents is really important,” he said. “We really want to work on our consistently. We need four consistent quarters to win games.”

Getting one more practice run before their showdown with Chaparral, the Eagles will host Sky Pointe tonight.

Contact Robert Vendettoli at BCRsports@gmail.com.

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