The season came to an end for the Eureka County High boys basketball team last week, as the Vandals fell to Whittell 71-27 in the quarterfinals of the NIAA division IV regional tournament in Reno.
Eureka came into the game winners of two of its last three, but couldn’t pull the upset of the top seeded Warriors.
“Playing and beating Whittell was a tall order,” said Eureka coach Elmer Porter. “They have a very good team and we fought hard, but could not overcome several mistakes in the first and third quarters.”
Whittell jumped out to an early 17-10 lead after the first quarter, and took a commanding 37-14 lead into the half.
It was a tough shooting day for the Vandals, who didn’t have any of it’s scoreres reach double figures. Trevor Merritt led the team with nine points, and Paul Padilla finished with eight.
“We had a great practice week and seem prepared to take on the Warriors in the first round, but Whittell’s tenacious defense was very hard for the boys to conquer,” Porter said.
The season was still a success for Eureka. The team notched 11 overall wins, three more than last year, and played well enough in conference to reach the postseason for the second consecutive year.
Porter is proud of his teams success, and thinks they have a bright future.
“I am very proud of the team this year as I believe the boys grew both in becoming better basketball players and individuals,” he said. “This group has a lot to look forward to in the next couple of years.”
Whittell went on to defeat Wells in the semifinals, before losing to Virginia City in the title game. Both Virginia City and Whittell earned a spot in the state tournament this weekend in Reno.