101°F
weather icon Clear

Fans help team rally at season’s first home game

It’s the first week of January, just about a month into the boys’ high school basketball season, and the gym at Boulder City High School has yet to see a game be played on its floor. Thirteen times the Eagles’ boys basketball team has played, and 13 times it has been on an opponent’s hardwood.

What was different about the game Tuesday night against the Aussie Basketball Travellers was that it was their first home game all season. It was the first game where the Eagles had the home-court advantage and didn’t have to worry about an opposing crowd booing them.

Not only that, but the Travellers did what they do best, and made the voyage all the way from Canberra, Australia. Talk about an away game.

As fans started flooding into the game Tuesday night, the home side of the gymnasium looked as though it was ready to explode with hysteria as spectators finally were able to see a glimpse of their hometown team.

From the moment the ball tipped off, it was evident the Eagles were putting into place what Coach John Balistere drilled into their head at practice: Execute sound defense and fundamental offense.

Tenacious defense began to create fast-break opportunities for the Eagles early. Forward Justus Green, 6 foot 3 inches, came up with a few early steals that turned into a couple of easy buckets, and had Boulder City up 9-0 halfway through the first quarter.

The athletic transfer from Cimarron-Memorial High School showed just how big of an impact he can have on the game when he gets going. After one of his steals, Green took it down the court with a head of steam and cocked back for a one-handed slam. The ball ended up hitting the back of the rim and bounced out. Yet, his display of athleticism on a team that desperately needs it, was enough to get the Boulder City faithful excited about their side.

After that point of the game, the Aussies took the lead and never gave it back. The Travellers tore through the defense of the Eagles like a grey nurse shark ripping through its prey, culminating in an onslaught of three consecutive three-pointers heading into the second quarter. That left the Eagles on the wrong side of a 22-0 run by the Travellers.

During halftime coach Balistere had a message for his team that helped change the momentum, and get the crowd back into the game.

“We talked about how our efforts (were) not going to win many games, especially in our league, the way we played that first half,” explains Balistere about his team’s collapse on both ends of the floor the first half. “We were having too many breakdowns and too many uncontested shots.”

Heading into the fourth quarter the Eagles were down 41-31. With three minutes left to play, Carson Balistere took a charge to give possession back to Boulder City.

“I thought that was big. I thought we had some opportunities to step up and take some other charges, but that was a big defensive play for us,” said coach Balistere.

The next play down sophomore point guard Tanner Montgomery had a beautifully executed backdoor pass to the hard-nosed Austin Wishard for the easy two.

Though the Eagles cut the Aussies lead down to three points, they could not overcome the deficit and fell short 49-44 to the Travellers.

After the game, the spectators in the Boulder City High School gym got to witness just how basketball unites different walks of life from all over the world. After a week of hosting the Australian team, both squads huddled up together behind an Australian flag to take a picture. It was a moment that will forever be ingrained for players on both teams.

 

Tournament Play

 

The Boulder City boys basketball team played in California over winter break in the Paloma Valley Winter Shootout. The Eagles went 1-4 with Austin Wishard being named to the All-Tournament Team for his outstanding play.

Wishard said he prides himself on the defensive end and taking charges when his team needs a defensive stop. He currently leads the team with 19 charges taken, and is aiming to break the school record of 43.

Contact reporter Juan Diego Pergentili at jpergentili@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow him on Twitter @jdpbcreview.

^

Upcoming Games

Today, at Desert Pines, 5 p.m., junior varsity; 6:30 p.m. varsity

 

 

 

 

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Eagles’ standouts expected to shine

As the start of fall sports inches closer with the conclusion of summer, Boulder City High School athletics are at no shortage of returning star players.

Eagles use summer to hone skills

Prepping for the upcoming season, members of Boulder City High School’s football team traveled to Emmett High School in Idaho for their summer camp.

Wrestler advances to national tourney

Hunter Moore, an incoming senior at Boulder City High School, will represent Nevada in the Fargo National Championship, after dominating his way through the Western State Championship wrestling tournament held June 22-25.

Swimmers continue to make waves

After helping Boulder City High School’s girls swimming team win its eighth consecutive 3A state championship — which dates back to 2013 — sophomore Phoebe McClaren and junior Tara Higley were honored among the top swimmers in Southern Nevada singled out by Nevada Preps/Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Lady Eagles get all-state honors

After helping lead the Lady Eagles to a state tournament appearance, Boulder City High School’s softball program placed five girls on the 3A all-state team, tied for the most in the classification.

Eagles dominate state volleyball honors

After winning their second consecutive state championship, Boulder City High School’s boys volleyball team dominated the 3A all-state award landscape, taking home seven of 17 available honors.

Eagles’ pitcher Welbourne singled out

Kanon Welbourne, a junior at Boulder City High School, was named the Mountain League’s pitcher of the year for his dominant performance throughout the season and helping the varsity baseball team win the league title.

Carver named MVP

After helping her softball team finish first in the 3A Desert League and clinch a state tournament berth, Boulder City High School senior Paeton Carver was named conference MVP.

Volleyball stars shine with year-end honors

Coming off their second consecutive 3A state championship, Boulder City High School’s boys varsity volleyball team dominated the Mountain conference awards.

Eagles earn second consecutive state title

Continuing its reign as the 3A state champion, Boulder City High School’s boys varsity volleyball team clinched its second consecutive title by defeating Clark High School 3-0 on May 18.