The Boulder City boys basketball team heads into the second half of its season with a road game tonight at Desert Pines, which has not lost a Sunrise League game in more than two years.
“It’s a tough draw to start the second half, but we have to play everyone in our league, it doesn’t matter when,” said senior guard forward Trenton Carmell. “The season really starts now for us. We need to make a playoff push by winning all of our home games and we need to steal one or two on the road.
“Eventually, someone is going to beat Desert Pines. We need to execute on offense and make all the shots count. We also have to play lock-down defense in order to win the tough league games.”
None may be tougher to steal than Desert Pines (7-6 overall and 1-0 in the Sunrise League) for the Eagles, who are 6-7 overall and 1-2 in the league.
Friday’s opponent is one the Eagles have to defeat to get the precious wins they will need to make the playoffs.
Moapa Valley (3-8 overall and 0-3 in league) has always been a rival since the schools were in lower classifications together.
The Eagles’ game tonight is their first since playing four games in the Paloma (Calif.) Classic during the holiday break. Weak scoring has been their downfall all season. They lost three of four games in the tournament, but the players have not lost their spirit.
“It doesn’t matter what happened over the break, because we learned from it,” Carmell said. “What we are focused on is the league games we can win, especially at home. We still have time to rally and make the playoffs.”
The Eagles have struggled to score points all season and have relied on their defense to create quick scoring opportunities.
“We come back from the break and start right away with two tough league games,” coach John Balistere said. “The offense has really had its trouble in many of our games, and the ones we have won or lost close are because the defense was outstanding and led us to offensive breaks.
“We have to turn up our defense to create those fast breaks and quick scores. We want to put ourselves in position to steal a few road wins. Despite the losses, the kids have been working hard and have not quit. I know they will play hard each game all the way to the end of the season.”
Austin Wishard scored 21 points and grabbed nine rebounds for his best game of the year in the Eagles’ lone win in California. Guard Tyler Newby has led the team in scoring, averaging 12 points per game.
Carmell has been playing well and rebounding against larger players and forward Brooks Roe has been excellent at taking offensive charges from opponents and causing turnovers, as well as with his rebounding, Balistere said.
“The kids have heart and play hard every time,” he said. “I have no complaints. I’m sure we’ll get the results.”