By GANNON HANEVOLD
Moapa Valley Progress
It was a successful season for the Mack Lyon Middle School Basketball programs this season, both on the boys and girls side. The boys team finished with a 9-9 record and narrowly missed a playoff spot. The girls team saw major improvements across the board despite a 5-13 record at the end of the season.
The boys A-Team, coached by Head Coach Casey Davis, had a very successful season. A first year coach, Davis said the team exceeded his expectations.
The two games that all Lyon Middle School basketball players anticipate each season are the pair of matchups against Hughes Middle School from Mesquite. This year’s team was able to take down the Hawks both at home and away.
Despite the two rivalry victories, Davis said the biggest highlight of the year came in the last game against Sedway. The Mustangs fell to Sedway on the road earlier in the season by 20 points. However, in the final game of the season, Mack Lyon defended their home court and won by eight points to close the season.
Various players contributed this year for the Mustangs, including leading scorers Cameron Reese and Lucas Walker. Preston Humes and Carson Heiselbetz played great defense throughout the year, Davis said.
One of the goals for Davis this year was for every player to have an essential role. “Everyone had their role and we talked a lot about role definition,” Davis said. “Brody Olive was one of those players that was an emotional leader.”
As a first year coach, Davis was very appreciative of the assistance he received from the Mack Lyon staff and administration at home and away games, as well as the support of his assistant coach Kevin Walker. “Without him, we wouldn’t have been as successful as we were,” Davis said of Walker.
As for the girls’ team, the Mustang girls found success as well. The team’s biggest strength, according to head coach Brent Thompson, was their balance.
“Our strength is that everybody on the team has the same skill level,” Thompson said. “No matter who I was able to sub in or out, our level of skill stayed the same. I could sub our bench in and out, and not have to worry about play decreasing.”
Players that contributed greatly to the team’s depth were Annabel Lounsbury, Jerzi Anderson, and Makayla Baldwin, said Thompson. Thompson added that he saw the greatest improvements from Dally Barlow and Maddie Frederick. Kyla Bradshaw and Kayla Walters, team captains, helped lead the team both on and off of the court as well, he said.
Some of the biggest moments of the season came when the Mustangs took on the Hughes Hawks from Mesquite. In their first meeting, the Hawks won a nailbiter by two points on a last second shot. In their second matchup, however, Mack Lyon got back at their rivals with a six point victory.
Another major success they saw was when they were able to, not just defeat Molasky, but hold them scoreless as well. This was something nearly unheard of in basketball, Thompson said.
Overall, it was a fun and exciting year for the girls and boys basketball teams at Mack Lyon Middle School. They both found success in one way or another and certainly built excitement for the seasons to come.