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Eagle’s mental strength helps them bounce back after three tough losses

Following a trio of heartbreaking losses, Boulder City High School boys basketball bounced back nicely Tuesday night against Sky Pointe with a 69-31 rout.

“I thought the guys did a great job of executing tonight,” head coach John Balistere said. “They really bounced back from last week and showed mental toughness. We easily could have let those losses take their toll on us, but the guys buckled down, fixed their mistakes and executed.”

Rebounding from a 56-53 league loss to Chaparral on Dec. 6 and a 71-69 triple overtime defeat against 4A Valley on Friday, Dec. 8, as well as their Dec. 5 66-62 loss to Spring Valley, the Eagles never let Tuesday’s game slip away, controlling the lead from the opening tip.

Monday’s 61-56 victory against Sunrise Mountain started similar, with the Eagles jumping out to a commanding 19-9 first quarter lead.

“I think the team bounced back really well this week with two wins,” junior guard Karson Bailey said. “Losing three games last week by a total of nine points is enough to make any team frustrated and can cause many teams to start the blame game. Our team stayed together through the low times though and came back stronger and even more motivated to win.”

Gaining contributions from 12 scorers, the Eagles jumped out to a 20-7 first quarter lead thank to three 3-pointers from senior guard Carson Balistere, who finished with a team-high 12 points.

Junior forward Elias Woodbury scored 8 points and Bailey added 7 points, while junior Derrick Thomas and freshman Ethan Speaker each scored 6 points.

Making his varsity debut, freshman Matt Morton dazzled in relief efforts, scoring 8 points off the bench. A versatile lengthy wing, Morton’s addition now gives the Eagles three 6-foot-5 players.

“It’s definitely a luxury I haven’t had in the past,” John Balistere said. “It’s really good to finally have length, but also players who know how to use it. Getting Matt sorted into our rotation will give us another reliable option because he can play multiple positions. It’s still early in the season, so we have to sort everyone’s minutes, but it’s a good problem to have.”

Scoring a game-high 22 points with four 3-pointers against Sunrise Mountain, Carson Balistere continues his early season hot shooting, while Thomas and senior Billy Ferrence each scored 8 points.

Carson Balistere led the Eagles in scoring against Valley with 12 points, while Bailey and senior Tanner Montgomery each scored 10 points. Bailey was the top scorer against Chaparral with 17 points.

“The offensive dynamic of our team flows so well this year,” John Balistere said. “It all starts with ball movement, creating open shots for our guys. Carson got it going early on and has found himself in a rhythm. Like all our guys are capable of, anytime we’re able to create space for them to shoot, we expect them to knock down shots.”

Hoping to carry their momentum into tonight’s rivalry game against Virgin Valley, the Eagles look to make it three straight victories before the holiday break.

“The Virgin Valley game is really a must-win game for us,” Bailey said. “We need to keep pace in our division and send a message to teams that we are one of the teams to beat this year.”

Contact Robert Vendettoli at BCRsports@gmail.com.

Upcoming games

Today, Dec. 14, vs. Virgin Valley, 5 p.m. junior varsity; 6:30 p.m. varsity

Dec. 27-30, Paloma Valley Winter Shootout, TBA

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