Eureka Lady Vandals (9-3) begins league play after suffering a disappointing 29-27 loss to Tonopah (7-4) Jan. 4.

Coach Travis Gallagher said a low scoring first quarter by both teams was followed by a fair good second quarter by each team and a halftime tie at 15.

“We’re a young team and still trying to figure things out. Our defense was good, but not our offense in not getting the ball inside as much as we should have. Tonopah played us with a pretty tight man defense and our guards didn’t handle that pressure very well, resulting in quite a few turnovers.”

He said he thought both teams were sluggish after the Christmas break as neither of them had played since Dec. 15. “It definitely showed on both sides.”

Stats were not posted for this game, but it was the second meeting of the season for the teams. Eureka won the first meeting 53-22 at the Wells tournament Nov. 30 when Morgan Thomas led the Vandals with 16 points.

Meanwhile, boys coach Fred Minoletti could not be reached for comment, but the Vandals lost a 56-48 close fought game with Tonopah.

Gallagher noted, “Ilyhia Greely played a pretty solid game at the post for us in the Tonopah game, and one of our freshmen, Gabi Minoletti, stepped up for us also.”

He said Eureka, trailing by six near the end of the game, put on some full court pressure and closed within two points, but did not make the free throws after a missed layup that would have tied the game and possibly sent it to overtime.

This Friday and Saturday, the Vandal teams, boys and girls, are on the road for league games at Carlin and Owyhee.

“I look forward to getting into league play,” Gallagher said. “Hopefully the girls are able to step up and come together as a team so we can make something happen. I have one senior, two juniors, and the rest are underclassmen, so I will have to dip into our freshmen group quite a bit. Carlin (1-5) has been weak in the past and may still be. Owyhee (5-5) is always tough and will be so again this year for sure. Always tough to go there.”

The Braves and the Vandals split both games last season.