96°F
weather icon Clear

Lady Eagles capture title

With just inches to go before Centennial quarterback Kiana Sai crossed the goal line, Boulder City defensive end Paige Buettner pulled the flag from her waist and it slowly fell to the ground.

The referees signaled “no good,” and Sai looked at them with her mouth agape as a look of disbelief ran across her face. The Boulder City sideline erupted, and the play would stand as the game’s ultimate difference as the Lady Eagles held on to beat Centennial 7-6 to win the Clark County School District championship Tuesday at Del Sol.

“I don’t think I’ve ever ran that fast in my life,” Buettner said about the crucial stop.

In a defensive battle where just getting past midfield proved to be challenging, Boulder City drew first blood after Buettner’s goal-line dash up the middle capped a 60-yard drive to give the Lady Eagles a 7-0 lead with seven minutes to go in the first half.

As the second half wore on, both defenses held strong. Just minutes in, Boulder City’s Oshanna Remy split her nose open after taking a knee to the face by a Centennial defender while trying to catch a low pass. As she laid on the field, blood ran from the bridge of her nose and trickled into her yellow headband.

Remy was patched up by the trainers, who eventually gave her the green light to go back on the field. The toughness was a microcosm of how both sides played during the biggest game of the season.

“It’s just a cut. The trainer said I might need stitches but that’s about it, Remy said. “That’s the only time I got out of the game. I didn’t like it, but I got back in.”

Centennial matched Boulder City stop for stop, and the Lady Bulldogs were able to finally get on the scoreboard when Lauren Ritter took a 5-yard hand-off up the middle for a touchdown with 11 minutes left in the game.

For the game-tying extra point, Sai ran to the left and was inches away from converting when Buettner pulled her flag just before the ball crossed the plane.

“Our defense never would’ve let it happen, and we all knew that,” Buettner said.

After both teams exchanged punts, Centennial took over with 3:45 left in the game. Boulder City continued to stymie the Lady Bulldogs’ offense, and a sack by Buettner forced a second-and-long near midfield with 1:11 remaining.

But the Lady Bulldogs gained life after a questionable completion on third down made it fourth-and-5 from the Boulder City 25-yard line. With the game winding down, Sai’s fourth-down pass fell incomplete, and Centennial turned the ball over on downs with less than a minute to go.

After a couple of knee downs by Boulder City’s Jeanne Carmell, the clock struck zero and the Lady Eagles were champions.

“We knew that’s what it was going to be (a defensive battle),” said Boulder City coach Chris Morelli. “They’ve got a great defense. We matched stop for stop with them.”

The Lady Eagles’ defense has been solid throughout the year, and Morelli said their toughness showed when it mattered most.

Boulder City’s defense led them to the championship game after shutting out Green Valley and Foothill 18-0 and 20-0, respectively, earlier in the postseason.

“We played really tough games. A lot of these other teams, they’ve been playing blowouts, so a lot of times they can’t finish a game because they haven’t been in those high-pressure situations,” he said.

Carmell, who was bottled up for most of the night, said Boulder City’s defense was built for low-scoring games.

“I prefer more points, but when it’s close, our defense is powered to stop them no matter what. We won’t let them get anything,” she said. “We wanted this so bad.”

When Remy went down with the injured nose, Carmell was confident she’d get back in the game. It was a symbol of how the team played the entire season.

“We knew no matter what, if anything happened .. broken nose, broken finger … get it fixed and get back on the field,” Carmell said. “That’s how we played in this game today.”

Buettner, who made big play after big play, said the Lady Eagles had the momentum after scoring that first touchdown. It’s been happening all year, her teammates said, and is a major reason why Boulder City completed a perfect 22-0 season and left with the championship.

“It kind of went through our minds that’s we were going to win this,” Buettner said. “It feels empowering, and I’m ecstatic about it. I wouldn’t have wanted to win it with any other girls.”

Contact reporter Steven Slivka at sslivka@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow @StevenSlivka on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
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.

Girls win eighth state swim title

The girls swimming team from Boulder City High School won its eighth consecutive 3A state swimming championship Saturday, May 21, following competition at the Pavilion Center Pool in Las Vegas.

Roundup: Coach: Team gets ‘great experience’ at state track tourney

Mary Henderson, a senior at Boulder City High School, finished as the track team’s top finisher, placing third in the 1600-meter run during the 3A state meet held Friday and Saturday, May 20 and 21, at Reed High School in Sparks.