Falling to rival Moapa Valley 50-44 in the 3A Southern Region finals on Monday at Del Sol, Boulder City High School girls basketball coach Kirk Estes is hopeful his team can use their recent loss as a wake-up call.
Suffering their first defeat since Jan. 15, the Lady Eagles will need a short memory to prepare for their 3A state tournament opening round match-up with defending state champion Churchill County on Friday at The Orleans.
“We have to bounce back from this loss,” Estes said. “I told the girls the silver lining is we have Churchill County first, and we want to play the best team first. I know we can take care of business with the other two teams, and now we have three days to prepare for the defending champions.”
Having already beaten the Pirates twice this season, the Lady Eagles were sloppy in Monday’s final, turning the ball over 16 times, while failing to play up to their level of team defense.
“Our defense failed us today,” Estes said. “We didn’t play defense like we had been through the season. We don’t give up 50 points in our defensive scheme. We didn’t rotate like we needed to.”
Focusing on the bigger picture, senior forward Hannah Estes, a four-year varsity letter winner, doesn’t think the team will harp on Monday’s defeat.
“If we dwell on our losses and past games, we won’t be prepared for our next games,” she said. “Yeah, it was a tough loss, but due to our play throughout the season, we earned ourselves a second chance. Staying focused on our upcoming opportunity is what’s key.”
Playing well at times, despite the defeat, all five starters for the Eagles were heavily involved against the Pirates, highlighted by 11 points from junior guard Madison Manns.
Junior guard Keely Alexander scored 9 points, while Hannah Estes, senior forward Setia Cox and junior forward Ellie Howard scored 8 points each.
“Everyone is so unselfish on our team,” Cox said. “We know we can pass up a good shot for a great one. One thing that helps a lot is our love for each other. Whenever someone is down, we are there for each other to cheer and support one another through everything.”
Cox added 11 rebounds, while Howard grabbed 10.
Defeating Mojave 50-28 in the 3A semifinals on Feb. 23, Alexander led all scorers with 19 points, while Manns scored 11 points and Howard scored 10 points.
Hoping to get back in the win column, the Lady Eagles start state play Friday at 11 am.
Contact Robert Vendettoli at BCRsports@gmail.com.