Boulder City basketball bounced back in a big way in the Lake Mead Christian Academy Holiday Classic tournament Dec. 3-5, winning its first three games before falling to The Meadows in the championship game.
The tournament provided a much-needed boost for the Eagles (3-3), who opened the first round of play with a 59-31 bludgeoning of Southern Australia.
Sophomore Carson Balistere led Boulder City, going 6-for-9 from the floor for 16 points, while Zach Murphy scored 15, grabbed six rebounds and had five steals. Justus Greene chipped in 12 points. The Eagles made 25 field goals, including four 3s.
After its blowout win, Boulder City moved on to face Division IV Word of Life Christian Academy.
The Eagles offense struggled early, scoring six points in the first quarter. The offense eventually got going, though, as Balistere led the team in scoring again with 10 points while nabbing six boards. Boulder City would claw out a 30-27 victory.
For the second straight game, Boulder City trailed at the half when it played West Wendover in the tournament semifinal, but this time it was Austin Wishard who led the Eagles to a win.
The senior’s double-double (11 points, 12 rebounds) led Boulder City to a 47-36 win. The victory handed the Wolverines their only loss so far this season and sent the Eagles into the tournament championship game.
“Our chemistry with our seniors and younger guys is starting to come together,” head coach John Balistere said. “It will take a little time, but we will get there.”
Boulder City met 2015 Division III state runner-up The Meadows on Saturday in the tournament’s title game.
Fortunately for the Eagles, the Mustangs offense didn’t have its best performance in the game. Unfortunately for the Eagles, the Mustangs defense, as well as star player Max Hisatake did, leading The Meadows to a 54-33 victory.
The Meadows won the game in the first quarter, where its full-court pressure and rebounding led to a 23-8 lead. The Eagles managed just one field goal and four points in the second quarter, but held the Mustangs to just seven points en route to a 30-12 halftime score.
Offensively, Boulder City couldn’t get into a rhythm early, and was forced into 20 turnovers for the game.
Hisatake finished with 16 points and 14 rebounds for The Meadows, while Boulder City’s leading scorers were sophomore Tanner Montgomery and senior Quentin Turner — each with seven points.
Carson Balistere was named to the all-tournament team after averaging nine points and four rebounds in the team’s four games. The Eagles, who pride themselves on taking charges, finished with 10 for the tournament, seven by Wishard.
“I was happy with our effort in the LMCA Holiday tournament. We did a much better job running our offense and got some great looks in all four games,” John Balistere said. “Going 3-1 is a good thing. Our defense looked good in spurts, and we are getting better at protecting the basket. We are still struggling shooting the ball early on, but I’m confident our guys will start knocking them down.”
The Eagles’ season continues at 6:30 tonight with a matchup at Del Sol High School.
Contact reporter Randy Faehnrich at email@example.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow him on Twitter @RandyFaehnrich.
Today, at Del Sol, 5 p.m., junior varsity; 6:30 p.m. varsity
Tuesday, at Southeast Career and Technical Academy, 5 p.m., junior varsity; 6:30 p.m. varsity