The Mineral County High boys basketball team captured its first state title since 1964 on Saturday night after beating Pahranagat Valley 63-46 in front of a loud crowd at the Cox Pavilion on the campus of UNLV in Las Vegas.
"It's wonderful, I'm really happy for these guys," said Mineral County coach Pete Summerbell. "I knew we had a shot at doing this when we started conference play, but to finish it off is just terrific."
The Serpents used a balanced scoring attack all night to keep the Panthers at bay, and had three players in double figures. Senior Taylen Wachsmuth led his team in scoring with 20 points, while Andre Davis and Robert McFalls each finished with 17. Tony Dominguez made some key plays down the stretch and scored eight points in the process.
The game was tight in the opening minutes until McFalls and Davis connected on back to back three's to put Mineral County up 12-6. The Serpents took a 35-21 lead into the half and never looked back.
Pahranagat's Culen Highbe caught fire in the third quarter and helped close the gap to 43-32, but Davis answered with a floater high off the glass to give the momentum back to Mineral County.
"This was our year," said Davis who was playing in his final game in a Serpent uniform. "To finish my senior year with a state title is just unbelievable. It's so great."
Mineral County came into the night on a 17 game winning streak after winning a 66-65 thriller over Spring Mountain a little more than just 24 hours prior. They weren't challenged much in the regional tournament last week, and senior Brandon West thinks the tight state semifinal helped them on Saturday.
"Friday really tested us, but we regrouped and came into the title game very confident."
It was the final high school game for the three Serpent seniors, Wachsmuth, Davis and West, but they were able to be apart of something no Mineral County boys basketball team has been able to do in over half a century. The Serpents will return eight players next fall when they take the court again, including McFalls who scored a team high 42 points in the state tournament.
"He's just an outstanding player and he took it to another level this weekend," Summerbell said. "The best is yet to come for him."
For now though, those seniors and the rest of Mineral County will celebrate a feat that can never be taken away from them. They are the 1A state champions.
"I don't even know what to say, I can't even comprehend it right now," West said. "This is just awesome."