By Eric Dahlberg, MCIN Staff

After losing its first conference game of the season, the Mineral County High boys’ basketball team continued its struggles, dropping back to back road losses at Sierra Lutheran and Virginia City last week.

The Serpents, however, righted the ship and knocked off visiting Smith Valley on Saturday before defeating Pyramid Lake on the road Tuesday night. They finished the busy stretch of four games in seven days 2-2, keeping their playoff hopes alive in the process.

“The kids are playing hard,” said Mineral County coach Pete Summerbell. “If we take care of business this weekend, we should be able to at least lock up the fourth spot in the division and get into the postseason.”

In their game against Sierra Lutheran on Jan. 21, the Serpents fell behind early 23-9, only to come roaring back to take a four point lead with five minutes left in the game. The 25 turnovers the Serpents committed were just too much to overcome however, as they lost the game 61-53. Victor Williams led the team in scoring with 30 points.

Looking to get back on track, Mineral County played a solid first half at Virginia City on Friday night and took a 29-28 lead into the locker room. The visitors couldn’t hold the lead for the second straight game though, and only scored six points in the third quarter. The Muckers went on to convert 21 free throw attempts out of 38, and won the game 61-53. Tyshawn Bonner scored 19 points in the loss, while Josh Cromer added 10.

“It was a really tough game to lose,” Summerbell said. “We played really well for most of the game, but it came down to the foul line at the end, and they were able to get the win.”

After losing three in a row, the Serpents were able to get an easy 58-30 win, and get their bench involved the following day against Smith Valley. Bonner and Isaiah Crowl each scored 14 for Mineral County in the win.

On Tuesday, the Serpents notched their second win in a row, defeating Pyramid Lake on the road in overtime 43-38. Stats were not available at press time.

Mineral County now sits at 8-11 overall and 6-3 in conference. The conference record puts them in fourth place for the moment, three games ahead of fifth place Pyramid Lake. The Serpents have all but locked up a postseason spot, and could move up in the standings this weekend depending on the outcomes of the rest of the league. They trail third place Virginia City by just one game, and second place Sierra Lutheran by a game and a half. Whittell High sits atop the IV Northern conference with an 8-1 league record.

Up next, the Serpents travel to Sage Ridge on Friday, before welcoming Coleville to Hawthorne on Saturday.