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Eagles get much-needed win

Needing a victory desperately, Boulder City High School boys basketball team ended a three-game skid with a 57-49 win over rival Moapa Valley on Tuesday, Jan. 14.

“This win was definitely important for us,” head coach John Balistere said. “We’ve played a really tough schedule. We haven’t backed down from anyone. We’ve been in a lot of these balls games with opportunities to win. Sometimes the ball bounces the wrong way or you don’t get a call. You have a break defensively, where the other team goes on a run. It was important for us to bounce back tonight.”

Rebounding from a sloppy first quarter where they trailed 9-6, Boulder City erupted with a 22-8 second quarter to set the tone for the rest of the ball game.

“The boys played well tonight,” Balistere said. “We came out sluggish in the first quarter but really did a good job from there putting the game away. I’d still like to see us play four consistent quarters of basketball. I don’t feel like we’ve done that yet this year. This group’s close though. We had a great defensive effort last week against Foothill. We’ve been really good offensively this season at different times. We just need to come together and play our best basketball.”

Junior Ethan Speaker led the way for the Eagles, putting together another phenomenal outing with a game-high 34 points, 20 rebounds, three assists and three steals.

“Ethan was Ethan tonight,” Balistere said. “Certainly, as a coach, you get a little spoiled watching him. He’s a capable young man and certainly his upside is unbelievable. He keeps improving and does all the things we need him to do for us.”

Battling back and forth with the Pirates, including during the fourth quarter where the Eagles’ lead was cut down to as low as 6 points, Speaker and the Eagles never faltered under pressure, closing the game out strong.

“This rivalry is always important to us,” Speaker said. “We circle the date every year for this game. We know it’s always going to be a physical game and tonight we came in needing a win and got one.”

Adding in another strong performance, junior Matt Morton scored 16 points with five assists. Senior Jacob Sanford scored 4 points and junior Matt Felsenfeld scored 3 points.

The Eagles fell to rival Chaparral 65-59 on Jan. 8, followed by losses to 4A opponents Cheyenne 68-65 on Friday, Jan. 10, and Spring Valley 81-64 on Saturday, Jan. 11.

Battling down to the wire with Chaparral, who the Eagles will be in a tough battle with for first place in the 3A Sunrise League, Speaker scored a game-high 26 points and Morton added 21 points. Sanford and senior Gavin Balistere each added 6 points.

Against Cheyenne, Speaker scored 29 points, while Morton scored 21.

Speaker followed the effort up with a 37-point outing against Spring Valley.

The Eagles will travel to rival Virgin Valley today, Jan. 16, followed by a road match up with Somerset Academy Sky Pointe on Wednesday, Jan. 22.

Contact Robert Vendettoli at BCRsports@gmail.com.

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