The state title defense officially begins today for the Mineral County High boys basketball team, and after another successful regular season the boys have put themselves in a position to repeat as champs.
After a pair of wins to finish out the conference schedule, the Serpents ended the season on an 11-game win streak and earned the top sed from the west in the regional playoff tournament this weekend. They finished the season 15-1 in the 1A West conference and are in the midst of playing their best basketball of the season.
That was evident on Friday when the Serpents hosted playoff-bound Virginia City and cruised to a 58-36 win. Junior Robert McFalls led the way with 19 points and 13 rebounds while Antonio Dominguez was second in scoring with 11. Seth Bozzi led the team in rebounds with 14.
Mineral County went on to win its final regular season game on Saturday at Smith Valley, 72-25, in a game that saw 11 Serpents reach the scoring column. McFalls scored 14 points in the win and Ethan Nelms added 12. Bozzi was also in double figures with 10 points and nine rebounds while Jared Dore pulled down 10 boards.
Now the real season begins for the Serpents and it starts with a quarterfinal game against Owyhee tonight in Reno at North Valleys High School at 8 p.m. The winner of that game will play the winner of McDermitt and Sierra Lutheran on Friday at 8 p.m., and the winner of that will advance to the title game on Saturday at 2 p.m. All games will be played at North Valleys with the top two teams advancing to the state tournament next week.
The boys aren’t the only basketball team from Mineral County looking to make history this weekend, the girls are looking to do some damage of their own. The Lady Serpents notched two more conference wins last weekend to finish off a perfect 16-0 league season and it doesn’t appear that they are ready to slow down anytime soon.
The girls lost two games in the Serpent Classic and fell in their second game of the day in the Whittell Tournament on Dec. 8, but haven’t lost since. They enter the tournament riding an 18-game win streak and finished the regular season 24-3 overall.
Senior Julieanna Williams capped her final career home game in style with 18 points and Perla Gutierrez added 15 to help lead the Lady Serpents to a 62-27 win over Virginia City last Friday night. The duo was at it again on Saturday as Gutierrez scored 18 points and Williams 10 in a 45-29 win at Smith Valley. Jerzi Moody added seven points in the win.
Now the top-seeded Lady Serpents have their sights set on something bigger, a state championship. But to get to state they will have to win at least two games this weekend, starting with Wells tonight at 6:20 at North Valleys High School. The winner advances to play either Owyhee or Smith Valley the following night at 6:20 p.m. at the same location. The regional title game is set for Saturday at noon at North Valleys.