The boys basketball team at Eureka County High School won its second straight league title after tallying a 10-1 record in conference. The Vandals traveled to Reno on Thursday to play in the Northern Nevada regional playoffs as the number one seed from the East.
Eureka finished out their league schedule with a slew of games starting with a re-scheduled game against Carlin. The original Jan. 29 scheduled game was cancelled due to inclement weather that was unsafe to travel in.
They instead met on Feb. 3 and the Vandals took care of business against the Railroaders. Four Eureka starters scored in double figures to knock off Carlin for the second time in league play. Nick Hornberger led the Vandals with 19 points while fellow starters Jaiden Hicks, Trevor Merritt, and Paul Padilla scored 14, 12, and 11 points respectively to help Eureka seal a 64-49 victory over Carlin.
The Vandals then played their last two home games of the season and they avenged their only league loss of the season against Wells on Feb. 5. Eureka played a solid game on both ends of the floor and eventually pulled out a much important win over Wells, 59-52.
The win helped Eureka regain the top seed in the IV Northern East. Again, the Vandals had four starters with double-digit points as they used a balanced scoring effort to gain perhaps their biggest victory to date against Wells. Hornberger, Merritt, Nick Gordon, and Hicks compiled the four Vandal starters to score in double figures.
The following day Eureka took the hardwood against Jackpot to serve as the last home game in the Fieldhouse. Eureka had no problems against the Jaguars as they cruised to a 58-23 victory. Hicks and Merritt led the Vandals in scoring with 18 and 13 points respectively.
On Feb. 10, another make-up game was played against Owhyee. Eureka used their experience and athleticism to blow out the Braves in Owhyee. Hornberger and Gordon both had big days for the Vandals as they poured in 20 and 19 points to help lead Eureka to a 81-33 win.
The league finale came with Eureka traveling to McDermitt on Feb 12 where they wrapped up the league title with a 62-41 victory over the Bulldogs.
The 2015-16 Vandal Basketball Team will go into Thursdays game as a number one seed which is very important as they look to have an easier route to the state championship tournament. Eureka avoided being on the same side of the bracket as Whittell who is clearly the best team from the IV Northern West.
The Vandals will take on Virginia City at Wooster High School on Thursday at 4:40 p.m. in the first round of the playoffs.
If Eureka advances past Virginia City, they will play the winner of Mineral County and Owhyee on Friday.
The tournament concludes Saturday with the championship game.