It will be all teams who used to be in the Northern Division at the 1A state girls state basketball tournament this week in Las Vegas.
After the regional tournaments in Reno this past week, three teams from the North and one that used to be will be participating at state.
The only team that is still not in the North is Mineral County, now a member of the new Central League in the Southern Division.
For the Lady Vandals, they played their way to the state tournament by placing second behind league rival McDermitt.
The girls opened the regional tournament Feb. 21 with an easy 34-19 win over Pyramid Lake. After a 25-4 halftime lead, coach Travis Gallagher put in the second team and let them finish out the game.
The semifinal match with Virginia City the next day was a much tougher game. And the Vandals were losing 31-24 after three quarters.
Then Gallagher said he decided to employ a strong man-to-man press on the Muckers, “and they just couldn’t handle it.”
Eureka took full advantage of the turnovers created and outscored Virginia City 19-7 the final period for a 43-38 win.
“I thought a press might work,” he said, “but I was a little hesitant because I didn’t know how much leg strength we might be giving up for a hoped for game the next day in the regional finals. But I went ahead with it and the pressure got to Virginia City’s best ball handler Kori Johnson. When she got in foul trouble, they kept trying to lob the ball up top to Chelsea Nevin and our Angelica Townsend played well on defense and denied the pass most of the time. We also got a couple of key steals which we scored on to complete the comeback. Breanna Miller came in for us during that fourth quarter and played really well.”
The championship game Saturday was against rival McDermitt, and the story was much the same as the two league meetings, state scoring leader Precious Masters again racked up double figures leading the Bulldogs to a 34-17 halftime lead and a 46-33 win.
Sophomore Gracie Garrett was the leading Lady Vandal scorer with 16 points.
In the state tournament in Las Vegas, the semifinals will be at S.L.A.M. Academy in Henderson on Friday. Eureka (17-7) plays the East-West regional champion Coleville (23-2), a team riding a 10-game win streak. The Vandals and the Wolves have not played each other in girls basketball since 2014.
The other semifinal pits McDermitt (19-3) and Mineral County (17-9).
The championship is Saturday at The Orleans Arena.
For the Eureka boys, they were also in the regional tourney but lost to Whittell in their first game 59-48. The Warriors then lost 53-34 to Jackpot in the semifinals.
Eureka completed the season with a record of 11-11.