The Lady Vandals had a thrilling game with Round Mountain in their first outing at the Wells Rural Electric Classic Nov. 30. They won a 46-42 thriller over the Knights. The girls had lost to Round Mountain in double overtime at the state semifinals last year.
After starting slow, just four points in the first quarter, the girls came on strong with consistent double-digit scoring the rest of the way. Round Mountain’s Alyssa Hanks led her team with 22 points, but she was the only Knights player in double figures. Morgan Thomas led the Vandal girls with 19 points and Cody Gibbs added 18. Between the two of them, they shot the ball 46 of the team’s 70 times. Round Mountain was 10 of 19 at the foul line. Eureka was 7 of 17.
“It was good to win that game after losing to them at state last year,” said coach Travis Gallagher. “We were getting a lot of steals off our press and scoring that way and put a box-and-one on Hanks to keep the ball out of her hands as much as we could.”
Against Pahranagat Valley on Friday, Thomas and Gibbs again led the team, Thomas with 17, Gibbs with 14, but the girls lost to the Panthers 47-41.
“Alamo had a large lead on us, but we came back in the fourth quarter outscoring Pahranagat 16-10 to make it close, but just not able to catch up completely,” Gallagher said. “We got outrebounded here too, which didn’t help.”
Later on Saturday, Eureka played Tonopah and won 45-26. Thomas again was the high scorer with 17 including three 3-pointers. Mikala Talbot had 10 points. The Lady Vandals had a 19-5 lead at halftime. “I could play some of my younger girls in this game and we were able to handle the Muckers pretty well, taking advantage of numerous steals,” Gallagher said.
Saturday concluded play at Wells as Eureka played Beaver Dam and downed the Diamondbacks 37-17. Gallagher said he was again able to play mostly his younger players. “I did keep Thomas or Gibbs in at times just to have a ball handler on the floor.” Gibbs and Talbot were the team leaders with eight points each.
After the first few games, Gallagher knows what needs to be worked on. “We need help with defense and rebounding. Morgan and Cody are going to be the key to our survival through preseason and league, so hopefully, they can stay healthy, and the other girls are coming around and learning how to play at the varsity level.”
This weekend Eureka (3-1) is at the Whittell tournament. The girls first game was Thursday against Lone Pine, Calif. (1-4), then Mammoth, Calif, a second meeting with Tonopah and finish on Saturday with 3A Dayton.