Spring Mountain never has won a state boys basketball championship.
The Golden Eagles showed some championship characteristics Friday in the Division IV state semifinals at Orleans Arena.
Steven Jones had 18 points, five assists and four steals as Spring Mountain defeated Whittell 69-54.
The Golden Eagles (22-4) will play Pahranagat Valley (17-7) for the state title at 12:50 p.m. today at Orleans Arena. The Panthers edged Virginia City 26-23.
“We basically played like a championship team,” Jones said. “We held the ball, we listened to our coach, and we played disciplined. You don’t see that coming out of Spring Mountain teams mostly.”
Spring Mountain led 37-32 in the third quarter when senior guard Shakori Clark made a huge play to spark the Golden Eagles. Clark hit a 24-foot 3-pointer and was fouled by Whittell’s Palmer Chaplin. He completed the four-point play to push the lead to nine, and Spring Mountain soon led by double digits.
“That was big,” Jones said. “We already had the momentum, but it just brought it right back up. It was a big play, and it set us off.”
Clark finished with 16 points and seven rebounds.
The Warriors (25-4) pulled within 55-48 on two free throws by Chaplin with 2:54 to play. But the Golden Eagles answered with a fast-break basket by Deondre Ishman, and Clark hit a free throw and made a 15-foot runner after the intentional foul by Chaplin to push the lead back to double figures.
Maurice Stitt had 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Ishman added 12 points and six boards for Spring Mountain.
Chaplin had 26 points and five assists for Whittell, and Quinn Kixmiller had 17 points and 11 rebounds.
■ Pahranagat Valley 26, Virginia City 23 — The Panthers shot 22.6 percent and committed 21 turnovers but still defeated the Muckers to move into the final.
“Our kids over the last couple weeks find a way — they never make it easy — but they find a way to make a play here or there,” Pahranagat Valley coach Mike Strong said. “And we’ve definitely had some close ones, for sure.”
Virginia City’s Clint Hess scored off turnovers on two consecutive possessions to tie the game at 23 with 1:46 left.
The Panthers (17-7) took the lead on Shawn Wadsworth’s free throw with 53.9 seconds left. He added another with 11.2 seconds remaining, and Wade Leavitt hit one with 8.5 seconds left for the final margin.
Virginia City (27-4) was 0 for 4 from the line in the final 1:08, missing the front end of two one-and-one opportunities. The Muckers finished 5 for 22 (22.7 percent) from the foul line.
Tabor Maxwell had seven points and eight rebounds to lead the Panthers. Hess led all scorers with 15 points.
Pahranagat Valley senior Jamie Hansen had 11 points and spent the majority of the game lock-step defensively with Pyramid Lake star Patricia Christy to lead the Panthers to a 57-38 win.
Pahranagat Valley (16-10) will face Smith Valley (28-2) at 11 a.m. today. The Bulldogs defeated Round Mountain 59-49.
Christy finished with 11 points but managed just two points and three field-goal attempts in the second half.
“We couldn’t let her get the ball in her hands because we knew everything went through her,” Pahranagat Valley coach Amy Huntsman said. “We asked a lot of Jamie today.”
The Panthers led 27-12 with three minutes left in the second quarter, but Pyramid Lake (19-8) trimmed the deficit to 30-20 at halftime and 31-28 early in the third quarter. But a quarter-ending 9-0 run by the Panthers removed much of the doubt.
Kalli Hosier scored 21 points to lead the Panthers. Gigi Rusk led Pyramid Lake with 12 points.
■ Smith Valley 59, Round Mountain 49 — Josy Wortman scored 21 points, and the Bulldogs survived after wasting nearly all of a 17-point third-quarter lead.
Kellie Rogaczewski added 18 points and 12 rebounds for Smith Valley, which led 45-28 late in the third quarter before the Knights cut the gap to 51-49 on Alexis Madziarek’s stick-back with 2:17 to play.
The Knights had a chance to take the lead but missed a 3-pointer with 1:15 to play, and Smith Valley ended the game on an 8-0 run.
Alyssa Hanks led Round Mountain (13-13) with 27 points and 24 rebounds.