The 2015-16 season for the Eureka County High School boys basketball team has officially started as the Vandals played in WRC Classic over the past weekend. Eureka won three while only losing one game to start the season off on a positive note.
The Vandals are returning much experience and key players from last season including eight seniors. Nick Gordon, Paul Padilla, Jaiden Hicks, Trevor Merritt, Steven Watts, Errol Porter, and Brendan Mears, and Nick Hornberger are the eight senior leaders returning for their last year of high school basketball.
Coach Elmer Porter has high hopes this year and understandably so with so much experience and skill returning for the Vandals.
“The Vandals should be highly competitive this year and are looking to be contenders for the number 1 spot in the Northern East Division,” Porter stated when asked about his outlook on the season. Porter went on to add, “ After coming up one game short of making the state tournament last year, the Vandals are focused and committed to challenge for a state playoff spot this year.”
Eureka traveled to Carlin on Thursday, Dec. 3 to play their first game of the season against the Elko High JV team. The Vandals started their first game with a little rust against the Indians, resulting in their only loss of the weekend. They lost to Elko JV 58-45. Nick Gordon led the Vandals with 13 points while Jaiden Hicks, Trevor Merritt, and Paul Padilla each had three assists to lead Eureka.
The following day, Eureka traveled to Wells and redeemed themselves from the previous night’s loss as they took care of the Round Mountain Knights 62-37. Hicks poured in 17 points while Nick Hornberger added a nice 13 points to lead Eureka in scoring against the Knights.
Later in the day, Eureka dominated once more on the hardwood against Carlin. The Vandals beat the Railroaders for their second straight blowout victory by the score of 60-23. Merritt had a double-double in the game with 14 points and 13 rebounds for Eureka. Hicks added 14 points while Padilla had 9 points and 9 rebounds to help lead Eureka to the sizeable victory.
The final game of the weekend came on Saturday as they finished with a 40-point victory over the Tonopah Muckers. Three of the Vandal starters had double-digit scoring performances as Merritt, Gordon, and Padilla had 20, 14, and 13 points respectively to lead in the blowout. Eureka’s won by an average of 27.3 points per game in their three victories over the weekend.
The high scoring outputs, and the ability for the Vandals to jump on their opponents early and often could be attributed to what they are focusing on this year.
Porter explained, “The Vandals have been practicing to enhance their offensive fast break and the defensive facet of their game.” Eureka seems to be off to a positive start with a lot of basketball and memories to be made. “The coaches are excited to start the season and to have the opportunity to coach such fine young men, it should be and exciting season,” Porter concluded.
Eureka and the boys basketball team will travel to Virginia City this coming weekend to play in the Comstock Classic from Dec. 10-12.