The Mineral County High girls basketball team has accomplished a lot on the court this season, but it was two goals that coach Amanda Jones presented her team with that meant the most – get to regionals and make it to state.
The Serpents accomplished both of those feats last week in Reno and are now heading to the state tournament in Las Vegas for the first time in years.
After capping off an impressive run through the conference schedule, the Serpent girls entered the regional tournament as the No. 2 seed and came just one point away from winning the entire thing. They fell to Coleville 52-51 in the championship game on Saturday afternoon in a hard fought game by both teams that could’ve gone either way.
“These ladies have been working their butts off this year,” said Jones. “Each week they continue to amaze me and never give up.”
Perla Gutierrez scored 27 points and Jerzi Moody-Isom scored seven and grabbed 10 rebounds in the title game that was close throughout. The Serpents led 29-27 at the half and trailed 40-38 before the thrilling fourth quarter.
The loss didn’t take away from the teams accomplishment of getting to state, and they had to battle a gritty Tonopah team the day before to do just that. Gutierrez led both teams with 31 points in the contest and Mineral County edged the Muckers, 46-45.
In the opening game of the tournament, Mineral County cruised to a 63-20 win over Green Valley Christian behind 29 points from Gutierrez and nine points each from Raynee Knight and Amyah Boyd. Eight Serpents got into the scoring column that game including Lashay Stephens who had just three points but dominated the glass with eight rebounds.
“I have been telling these ladies from the beginning that I believe in them and anything is possible if we work hard and leave everything on the court. I am so very proud of them and how far we have come thus far,” Jones said.
The Serpents now enter the state tournament as the No. 2 seed and will take on the No. 1 seed from the North, McDermitt. That game is set for 6:30 p.m. at the S.L.A.M. Academy in Henderson with the winner moving on to play either Coleville or Eureka Saturday in the state championship game at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas at 6:20 p.m.
With the regional title loss now in the rearview mirror, Jones has her team refocused and ready for more.
“We are going to work hard this week and head to Vegas with even more hunger and fight to win,” she said.