Going into this past weekend. The Eureka County High girls basketball team believed it had a shot at the second or third seed going into the regional playoff, but the number one seed was all locked up for McDermitt.
However, the NIAA recently ruled that McDermitt had been playing with an academically ineligible player for the last five games and McDermitt had to forfeit those wins which dropped the Lady Bulldogs to the fourth seed and vaulted the Eureka girls to the top seed.
Coincidentally enough, Eureka played McDermitt in their last league game of the season this past Friday night.
This game was played before the issue of McDermitt playing with an academically ineligible player was discovered. McDermitt had been undefeated in league play before Friday night’s contest with Eureka.
The Lady Vandals hounded McDermitt all night which helped them pull out the 36-34 win.
“Our full court pressure and our fast paced game took its toll on the Lady Bulldogs,” coach Travis Gallagher explained. Shara Green led the Lady Vandals with 17 points while Beth Damele chipped in 9 points of her own. When asked about the big win, Gallagher stated, “The girls looked great, played as a team, and proved that defense can win games.”
The following day, Eureka played Battle Mountain in a non-league game to close out their regular season. The Lady Vandals held strong against the bigger school Battle Mountain and narrowly lost 49-44.
“Had a bad fourth quarter which led to the loss,” Gallagher explained. “Despite the loss, the girls’ spirit remains high going into regionals,” Gallagher added.
Even in unusual circumstances, Eureka reached their goal of winning the division and heading into the playoffs as the one seed from the East. The Lady Vandals will play Mineral County in their first NIAA Division IV Region girls playoff game this Thursday, Feb. 19, at 6:20 p.m. in the high school gym of Spring Creek High School. If Eureka wins, they will play the winner of Wells vs. Pyramid Lake the following day at 6:20 p.m. in the high school gym of Spring Creek High School.
The Lady Vandals are looking to return to the state championship basketball tournament for the fourth consecutive year.