Virgin Valley’s Hogan Fowles led drives, sparked rallies and inspired his teammates every week this past fall at the quarterback position on the Bulldogs’ football team.
On Saturday, the 6-foot-2-inch senior came through on the hardwood en route to winning Most Valuable Player honors in the 17th annual Lake Mead Holiday Classic.
Fowles scored eight of his 12 points in the third quarter and provided a momentum-changing play as Virgin Valley captured the title with a 50-40 win over West Wendover at Lake Mead.
“He’s a gamer,” Virgin Valley coach Sean FitzSimons said. “And he’s clutch. Last night against Boulder (City), he saved us with some late 3s and heroics. He’s just going to battle for you and give you everything he’s got. We’re proud of him, and we’re proud to have him be a part of this.”
Fowles scored the Bulldogs’ first eight points of the third quarter to give his team a 27-17 lead and force West Wendover into calling a timeout. Two possessions out of the timeout, Fowles stole the ball from a Wolverines player and assisted one of his teammates on the other end to give Virgin Valley a 14-point lead and all the momentum.
“He just has a motor out there that doesn’t stop,” FitzSimons said.
West Wendover pulled within 40-34 with 5:11 remaining in the fourth quarter on a 3-pointer by Saul Palacious. But it was the closest they would get. The Wolverines were called for three second-half technical fouls for language, which benefited Virgin Valley.
It wasn’t always smooth sailing, though, for the Bulldogs. They made only 1 of 14 field goal attempts in the opening quarter and trailed 6-2. But a 20-10 second quarter gave them a 22-16 lead at halftime.
“We’ve got to come out less flat,” FitzSimons said. “The change was we decided to start executing a little bit better on the offensive end. And turning up the defensive intensity, which led to some transition buckets.”
In the third quarter, the Bulldogs continued that trend. The physicality on the boards and in the full-court pressure was the difference. FitzSimons said that could stem from having nine football players on his 10-player basketball roster.
“It’s big because it kind of transfers — some of that football mentality,” FitzSimons said. “Some of that aggressiveness is what we want on the defensive end. If we can get half of that on most nights, we’re going to be in a lot of games.”
Reid Jensen had eight points, six rebounds and two blocked shots, and Jarett Tietjen added five points, four assists and three rebounds for Virgin Valley (4-0), which got seven points apiece from Andrew Memmott and Jayden Perkins.
Zade Elton led West Wendover with 17 points, 10 rebounds and two steals. Palacious had 10 points and four rebounds, and Eduardo Gonzalez scored eight for the Wolverines (3-1).
Memmott led the all-tournament team for the Bulldogs. Elton and Bryan Flores represented West Wendover.
Boulder City’s Carson Balistere, Calvary Chapel’s Elijah Martinez, Fernley’s Zach Burns, Lake Mead’s Shay Rutledge, The Meadows’ Jake Epstein, Moapa Valley’s Chase Kruse and Spring Creek’s Levi Yaunick also made the all-tournament team.
Boulder City 44, The Meadows 40 — Balistere scored seven of his 19 points in the fourth quarter, and the Eagles used a 16-6 fourth quarter to defeat the Mustangs in the third-place game.
Balistere also made all three of his free throw attempts in the seesaw fourth quarter.
Justus Green added seven points for Boulder City, which trailed 34-28 after three quarters.
Epstein led The Meadows with 19 points.
Fernley 65, Calvary Chapel 26 — Burns led all scorers with 28 points as the Vaqueros routed the Lions in a consolation game.
Drake Howe added 11 points for Fernley, which led 22-8 after the first quarter.
Martinez had 11 points for Calvary Chapel.
Spring Creek 31, Lake Mead 27 — Jake Petersen led a balanced attack with 10 points to power the Spartans past the Eagles in a consolation game.
Thomas Ledford and Jake Oliphant each added eight points for Spring Creek, which outscored Lake Mead 8-2 in the fourth quarter.
Noah Tassi, Shay Rutledge and Joshua Thorell each scored eight points for the Eagles.
Moapa Valley 59, SLAM Academy 41 — Kruse had a team-high 14 points, and Tyler Peterson scored 13 to lead the Pirates by SLAM Academy in a consolation game.
Dalyn Leavitt added nine points, and Cameron Larsen scored eight for Moapa Valley.
Jamaal Carr had 15 points to lead SLAM Academy.
Lincoln County 67, Laughlin 45 — At Lake Mead, Justin Barton and Kobe Walker each scored 12 points as the Lynx topped the Cougars in a consolation game.
Brady Lawrence added 11 points and six assists, and Elijah Harr scored 10 for the Lynx, who outscored the Cougars 24-8 in the fourth quarter to take control.
Noah Smith notched eight points and 10 rebounds for Lincoln County.
Michael Compoi led Laughlin with 25 points, and teammate Corey Anderson scored 10.
Fernley 65, Moapa Valley 59 — Burns connected on four 3-pointers and finished with a game-high 27 points as the Vaqueros edged the Pirates in a consolation game.
Howe added 12 points for Fernley, which led 29-20 at halftime.
Nathaniel Thompson led Moapa Valley with 21 points. Trey Jones had 12 points, and Kruse scored 11 for the Pirates.
Spring Creek 55, SLAM Academy 26 — Petersen scored 17 points to lift the Spartans over SLAM Academy in a consolation game.
Ledford notched nine points for Spring Creek.
Jacob Balsterholt led SLAM Academy with 14 points.