RENO -- Little went right for Boulder City in its Class 3A boys state basketball tournament semifinal Friday at Reno High School.
Eagles coach John Balistere chalked it up as "one of those nights."
Lowry held the Eagles to three points in the second quarter to open a commanding lead and cruised to a 60-45 win at UNR's Lawlor Events Center.
The Buckaroos (21-6) meet Elko (24-6), which defeated Fernley 56-38 in the other semifinal, for the title at 4:15 p.m. today at Lawlor.
For Boulder City (19-10), the result was a near reversal of its 63-48 win over Lowry on Dec. 8.
"I'd like to say they did something different that caught us off guard, but we just struggled to shoot the ball and their kids played great," Balistere said. "That first game was early in the season, and it was two completely different teams"
Boulder City led 13-11 after the first quarter, but Lowry's Josh Watterson hit consecutive 3-pointers in the first minute of the second quarter as the Buckaroos used a 17-3 spurt to take a 28-16 lead at halftime.
"We're a defensive team and we keep trying to grind it out, but we had a couple of breakdowns and gave up a couple of easy buckets," Balistere said. "Their kids played great and they caught us on an off night."
After the Buckaroos pushed their lead to 47-30 with 7:50 left, Boulder City's Austin Morgan made consecutive 3-pointers to spark a 13-3 run that cut the lead to 50-43 with 2:35 in the game. But Lowry responded with six points in the next minute to quell the Eagles' comeback attempt.
"We were getting a lot of opportunities, even when we were getting behind, but we didn't take advantage of them," Balistere said. "But I'm proud of my kids and we've had a great season."
Having faced Spring Creek in last year's state final and at an early-season tournament in Winnemucca, Virgin Valley coach Chimane Creer said her team was ready for the physical style she knew it would encounter against another Northern Region team.
Being ready wasn't quite enough.
Elko held the Bulldogs scoreless for more than seven minutes in the third and fourth quarters to pull away for a 49-32 win in a state semifinal at Reno High.
Elko (18-9) will play Spring Creek (20-9) in the title game at 2:30 p.m. today at UNR's Lawlor Events Center. Spring Creek, behind 17 points from Arrayana Edwards, defeated Fernley 63-28 in the other semifinal.
"I was worried about how aggressive they would be," Creer said. "Northern schools play very, very aggressive and I thought we were ready for it, but what happens when you step on the floor is a lot different."
The Bulldogs (16-10) also suffered a six-minute scoreless drought that bridged the first and second quarters, and Elko surged from a 10-9 deficit to a 19-10 lead.
"We came out hot, but then we backed off and I'm not sure why," Creer said.
With a guard-oriented offense, Virgin Valley averaged 50 points per game this season. But the undersized Bulldogs couldn't contain Elko's post duo of RaeLynn Forcella and Anna DuBois, who combined for 26 points and helped the Indians control the boards.
"Our post players know their job on the floor is to score and rebound," Elko coach Camille Larsen said.
Elko guard Emma Sprout scored eight points during the Indians' 10-0 run in the third quarter, getting out in transition after her teammates sealed off the boards.
With only one senior, forward Cassidy Crandall, Creer said her team will use the lessons it learned and take another shot at the North next season.
"We knew what we needed to do coming into today, but we've just got to prepare a little better," she said.