By DAVE BELCHER
Moapa Valley Progress
It wasn’t the start to the season that the Pirate basketball coaches or players had hoped for on Wednesday night, Nov. 29, when Spring Creek travelled to Moapa Valley for the first game for both teams. Spring Creek came to Moapa Valley and beat the Pirates 75-67.
The Spartans had four players score in double figures led by Levi Yaunik with 24 points. Ryan Miner scored 15 followed by Jake Oliphants’ 14 and Thomas Ledford’s 10. Spring Creek went to the free throw line 38 times scoring 25 shots. Moapa Valley went to the line 21 times scoring 12 shots.
Spring Creek opened the game with a 16-10 lead after the first quarter. They exploded with 26 points in the second quarter to build a 42-25 lead by halftime.
Moapa Valley started finding the basket in the third quarter as they outscored the Spartans 17-15 then caught fire themselves with a 25-18 run.
But the Pirate defense could not stop Spring Creek. The Spartans were consistent and used the huge free throw deference in the favor for the win.
Derek Reese scored 19 to lead the Pirates. Nathaniel Thompson scored 18 and Lucas Walker added 10.
Overt he weekend, the Pirates travelled to Las Vegas for the Lake Mead Invitational. The Moapa team came away with a win and two losses. They played a tough Meadows team to start the tournament and came away with a 53-35 loss.
The Meadows started the game by making their shots from the tip as they outscored the Pirates 26-9 building a huge lead. They cooled off and scored just 27 in the last three quarters, but Moapa Valley struggled the whole game. In the third quarter the Pirates scored 12 points holding the Mustangs to six. But the deficit was too great, and Moapa Valley could not catch the Meadows.
Reese scored 13 to lead the Pirates.
Fernley had traveled to Las Vegas for this tournament. They played the Pirates in the second round. Fernley caught a hot hand and took a 24-13 lead by the end of the first half.
Moapa Valley, led by the shooting of Thompson and his 18-points, cut the Vaquero lead to eight by halftime with a 13-10 run in the second quarter.
The Pirates came out slow in the third with just 8 points in the eight minutes. The game turned into a scoring fest in the fourth quarter as both teams scored 22 points for a 70-56 Fernley win. Reese and Walker each added 10 points for Moapa Valley.
The final game placed the Pirates against Calvary Chapel, the team now coached by the controversial Dave Bliss, former Baylor University coach who resigned in 2003 after the death of one of his players. Calvary Chapel hired him last summer to lead their program.
The Pirates opened the game with a 14-8 run and held a one point lead at halftime 26-25. This was a close game throughout as the Pirates continued to stay in front each quarter adding two points then four in the third and fourth quarter to the lead. The Final score was 54-47. Reese who scored 24 points led Moapa Valley. Thompson added 15.
The Pirates will travel to Virgin Valley for the Bulldog Invitational on Friday and Saturday.