The Vandals boys basketball team won one and lost one in the opening of league play Jan. 11-12 on the road at Carlin and Owyhee.
Coach Fred Minoletti said the game with Carlin was not much of a game because the Railroaders have been down for the past few years. The final score was 65-29.
And the Railroaders have been weak for about 10 years, not winning more than seven games in any season since 2008.
Minoletti said Chase Green had 19 points to lead the Vandals. Three other players contributed in double figures, Gage Hayward with 13, Witz Bailey and Tristan Bircham talled 12 points each.
The next night at Owyhee started out in Eureka’s favor holding a 26-17 lead at the half. But the Braves returned after halftime and virtually scalped the Vandals in the second half, outscoring them 46-16, to take a 63-42 homecourt win.
“I think our boys just got tired in the second half of that game,” Minoletti said. Owyhee had three players in double figures, most of which came in the second half. Rigo Cordova was high point with 15 followed by Desmond Hancher with 14 and Micah Johnson with 12. No individual stats were post for Eureka.
“We played our tempo in the first half,” Minoletti said, “but in the second half they came out with a strong full court press that wore us down and we committed far too many turnovers which they took advantage of. That fourth quarter it just spiralled away from us. We really don’t have a lot of depth. I was really only using about six players and that constant pressure was taking its toll on us. Once the Owyhee fans got into it, then they started hitting just about everything.”
This Friday and Saturday the Vandals (5-7, 1-1) have home games against Wells (9-8, 1-0) and Jackpot (9-5, 1-0).
“Those will be tough games,” he said. Jackpot is the league leader at present. “I think we are going to see quite a bit of pressing defense from those teams to try to wear us down, so I hope we can play our tempo and not get into their run-and-gun game, we have to play our type of game. We just don’t have the personnel for that type. I only have three experienced varsity players [Green, Hayward and Bircham]. They rest are up from the JV squad. We can hang with teams. We just have to player smarter ball.”