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Pahranagat Valley falls to Mineral County in boys state final

RENO — Pahranagat Valley’s boys basketball team can be forgiven if it’s feeling a sense of deja vu.

For the fourth straight year, the Panthers had their season ended by Mineral County. The Serpents won the Class 1A state championship — their second consecutive title — with a 50-38 victory Friday at Lawlor Events Center.

The Panthers (20-10) made only four field goals in the first half in falling behind early.

“Credit to those guys,” Pahranagat Valley coach Michael Strong said. “They made shots. We didn’t make a whole lot of baskets early, and it’s hard to win that way. It felt like we couldn’t get out of our own way at times.”

Despite its offensive woes in the first half, Pahranagat Valley made a small push to get within 26-15 at halftime. But the Serpents had two four-point trips early in the fourth quarter on which they made the first free throw, missed the second but grabbed the offensive rebound and kicked it out for 3-pointers.

That was part of a 12-2 run that allowed Mineral County to push its lead to 20. Pahranagat Valley got as close as nine in the fourth quarter but never seriously challenged.

Treven Wachsmuth scored 21 points for Mineral County (27-4).

Preston Higbee and Ira Bowman scored 11 points apiece for the Panthers, but Bowman was scoreless in the first half.

“They do a good job,” Strong said. “They got up and made us a little uncomfortable with their ball pressure. They put their long defender on Ira, and he (defender) did a really nice job.”

Seth Bozzi scored 15 and Ethan Nelms 10 for Mineral County.

Girls

Virginia City 41, Mineral County 34 — At Lawlor Events Center, Abigaile Wanbaugh scored 14 points, and the Muckers won their first state championship since 2010.

Kori Johnson scored 11 for Virginia City (18-9), which outscored Mineral County 31-8 in the first and fourth quarters. Jayla Tolliver had 10 points for Mineral County (24-4), the 2019 state champion.

Class 3A

Boys

Churchill County 45, Elko 42 — At Lawlor Events Center, Elijah Jackson scored 21 points, including the game-winning 3-pointer with 2.8 seconds left in overtime, as the Greenwave won the state championship.

Thomas Steele added 10 points for Churchill County (23-6), which won its second straight state crown and sixth in school history. Michael Klekas led Elko (24-6) with 20 points.

Girls

Truckee 54, Fernley 42 — At Lawlor Events Center, Lauren Tanner and Ryan Flynn scored 12 points apiece, and the Wolverines claimed the state championship.

Annika Thayer added 10 points for Truckee (22-6), which won its first NIAA state title. Willow Jacobson led Fernley (25-3) with 12 points, and Karli Burns scored 10. Fernley had won all three previous meetings against Truckee this season.

Contact Jason Orts at jorts@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2936. Follow @SportsWithOrts on Twitter.

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