Games on the court begin next week for both the Eureka County High boys and girls basketball teams.
In fact they compete in three season opening tournaments in the next three weeks.
First, is the Wells Rural Electric Classic Nov. 30-Dec. 2. After that will be the Whittell Tournament at Zephyr Cove Dec. 7-9, and the Round Mountain tournament Dec. 15-16 featuring Tonopah, Beatty and Pahranagat Valley.
The first home game is with Battle Mountain Dec. 19.
Then after the Christmas holiday break, league play begins Jan. 5-6 hosting Carlin and Owyhee.
The boys and girls teams have exactly the same schedule except the boys have league games with Jackpot and apparently Jackpot is not fielding a girls team this year.
The Vandal boys were 13-11 last year under first year coach Fred Minoletti, second place behind McDermitt in the 1A North-east, with whom they had two very close games with, and lost a two point-heartbreaker to Whittell, 50-52, in the first round of the regional playoffs.
Meanwhile, the girls under coach Travis Gallagher, in his third season, finished 19-6, and second to Owyhee in league play but won the league tournament over the Braves to go to state as the No. 1 seed. However, at state they lost a double-overtime thrilling to Round Mountain, 74-70 in the semifinals.
An interesting game is in Eureka with Oasis Academy from Fallon on Jan. 20. The Bighorns are playing an independent schedule in this their first year of competition.
The season winds up on Feb. 9 at McDermitt before heading to the Northern regional tournament.
The team that has given the Vandal boys the most trouble in league play is Owyhee. Eureka is 5-21 against the Braves since 2006, won only once in 21 meetings up to 2015. But since then, the Vandals have won four out of five and the teams split last year. And McDermitt has been a challenge, too. 19-13 against the Bulldogs since 2005, and they split last year’s games, each winning on the others home court.
Their greatest success has been with Carlin, 22-7 since 2006, including the last 13 straight.
The nemeses for the Lady Vandals are Owyhee and McDermitt. Since 2006, 10-10 with Owyhee and 18-11 with McDermitt. They beat Owyhee two out of three last year, and split with McDermitt. On the other side, against Carlin the last 10 years the Lady Vandals have been a perfect 21-0.
They had done well in non-league play with Round Mountain, too, up until last year’s state semifinal loss. They were 23-1 against the Knights until that time.
The state tournament this season will be at the Lawlor Center on the campus of the University of Nevada Reno, for all classifications Feb. 22-24.