The Vandals boys started off very slow in the first quarter of their game with Tonopah at the Round Mountain tournament Dec. 14 -15.

Down 12-2 after one, the boys pulled it together, played better in the next three quarters and gave Tonopah their second loss of the season with a 42-37 win.

“It was one of the better games we’ve played all year,” said coach Fred Minoletti. “Kind of had to dig out of a hole, but we came back and played pretty well the rest of the game. We just executed our offense better that half. Defensively also, we got a lot of stops. Better than what we have been doing.”

And so they did, outscoring the Muckers 28-15 in the second half. It helped give the Vandals a little bit of a feeling of consolation because many who had played football also had lost to Tonopah in the state semifinals just last month.

Minoletti said Chase Green led Eureka with 19 points.

Kobe Bunker had 15 points for Tonopah.

Later that same day Eureka played host Round Mountain and won a close game, score not posted.

On Saturday, Minoletti said they played the Beatty Hornets, but lost 53-43. “We had a lead much of the game. But Green fouled out in the fourth quarter and we only had six players, and without Chase on the floor it’s tough for us to score and Beatty came from behind.”

Eureka team takes the holiday break and gets back to action on Jan. 4 when they face the Tonopah Muckers again. That will be the rubber game of the regular season. The teams have split the series at this point, just like they did last year. Overall in the series though, since 2005, Eureka holds a 14-7 advantage.

The Vandals (3-4) begin league play Owyhee Jan. 12.

While Eureka is off for Christmas break, Owyhee will participate in the Star Valley Shootout in Afton, Wyoming, east of Pocatello, ID, Dec. 27-29.

Vandal girls finish 3-0

Playing without Morgan Thomas, who suffered a season-ending ACL tear a couple of weeks ago, the Eureka girls basketball team still managed to win all three games at the Round Mountain tournament Dec. 14-15.

Coach Travis Gallagher said with Thomas out of the lineup, other players have stepped up and he is proud of their efforts.

The Lady Vandals faced Tonopah, Round Mountain and Beatty on the weekend slate.

Against Tonopah, Ilyhia Greely and Gracie Garrett, two sophomores, stepped up and scored 12 and 10 points apiece in a hard fought 40-32 win.

Gallagher said, “Ilyhia is our big forward underneath, so she’s really stepped up big time, getting rebounds and scoring underneath. Gracie is running the point fairly well and controlling the team.”

The second game, with host Round Mountain, was not close at all, a 39-9 affair for the Lady Vandals. The Knights just could not score, their most being four points in the first quarter. “We just kind of ran over them,” Gallagher said. Garrett again lead the way for Eureka with 10 points and Angelica Townsend, the team’s only senior now, also contributed 10 points. “Angelica leads by example,” Gallagher said.

The final game was with the Beatty Hornets and Eureka took that one 32-14, holding Beatty to only seven points in each half.

The girls spread the wealth around this game with every player scoring. Garrett and Gaby Minoletti had six points each. Gallagher said, “I could play some of my younger girls in this game. I started using my subs in the second quarter.”

The Vandal girls have the holidays off and don’t return to action until a meeting with Tonopah on Jan. 4.