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Top high school sports moments of the year

By Carter Eckl ceckl@nevadaappeal.com

We’re still not sure if the spring sports season is going to resume, but in the meantime I wanted to take a look back at some of the best prep sports moments in our area.

These moments are not listed in any particular order, but designed to highlight the top accomplishments from around the area.

Alas, this was a list I came up with, in part, due to some feedback on social media.

If you think I missed a top moment of the year, let me know.

Carson girls hoops beats Reno for first playoff win since 2012

No one was quite sure the last time Carson High girls basketball had beaten Reno after the Senators pieced together a 62-33 beat down of the Huskies in the regular season. Carson followed it up by sneaking past the Huskies in the opening round of the postseason, 43-41, for the program’s first playoff win since 2012.

The Feb. 18 win was powered by Lily Bouza and Bella Kordonowy, who had 13 and 11 points respectively, as the Senators were able to hold off a late Husky push to keep their season alive.

The win set up a showdown with Bishop Manogue in the regional semifinals, which the Miners won to take a spot in the state tournament.

Carson capped its best season in nearly a decade with a 17-8 record.

Carson boys basketball needs OT to beat Douglas and secure postseason berth

Both rivals knew they needed a win to secure the final postseason spot in the Sierra League.

Carson held a one-point lead at the half before the Tigers took an eight-point lead in the third quarter.

The Senaors regained the lead and with seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, a Chris Smalley putback basket forced overtime.

In overtime, it was Senator senior Nathan Smothers who took over with six of his team-high 19 points coming in the extra period.

The win sent the Senators to Spanish Springs to open the postseason where Carson fell 57-47 after the Cougars held off a hard-charging Senator team late.

Douglas football holds off late Carson run to make postseason

Carson High football made the Tigers work for it, but Douglas ultimately took care of “The Rivalry” to secure a spot in the first round of the 4A Northern Region football playoffs to cap the fall football season.

The Tigers pulled out a 34-24 win after Carson cut the deficit to 20-17 with 11:14 to go.

From there, quarterback Isaac Shaver rushed into two touchdowns of his own after the Tigers drove down field to cement the win for Douglas.

The orange and black went on to fall to Reed in the opening round of the Northern Region playoffs, 63-21, ending the Tigers’ season.

Sierra Lutheran boys basketball makes first state tourney

The Sierra Lutheran boys basketball team just kept winning this past season.

After a rocky start in which the Falcons were 5-6 heading into the winter break, Sierra Lutheran and Class 1A West League Coach of the Year Ben Walther figured some things out, winning 11 straight games before falling in the regional final to Mineral County.

The Falcon boys became the first program in school history to punch their ticket to state and put up a valiant effort against Pahranagat Valley before falling in the state semifinals, 58-49.

Sierra Lutheran’s Makez Berger was also named the Class 1A West League Player of the Year.

Eric Tomita and Bradley Wiggins win 4A Northern Region doubles title

After two years of losing in the quarterfinals of 4A Northern Region Tournament, Carson’s doubles pairing of Eric Tomita and Bradley Wiggins had one goal all season of making it to the state tournament.

The duo put together two straight-set wins to clinch the 4A Northern Region title and earn a spot in the state tournament.

What was arguably even more impressive was the pairing made it the entire season without dropping a set prior to qualifying for the state tourney.

David Remer wins 195-pound state wrestling title

Carson High’s David Remer took second last year at 182 pounds and made it very clear from the outset of his senior year he was focused on winning a state title.

Feb. 15, Remer accomplished that goal with a 13-10 decision win over Cimarron-Memorial’s Deshawn Griffin.

The Senator senior led 7-0 after two periods and looked to be squarely in control before getting flipped to his back in the third period.

Despite nearly getting pinned, Remer escaped the trouble and scored enough points to accomplish his season-long goal.

Douglas girls soccer punches ticket to state with shootout win over Damonte Ranch

There may not have been a more intense regional semifinal in the state this past year than what the Douglas girls soccer team experienced in order to earn a second consecutive trip to the state tournament.

In a shootout with Damonte Ranch at Carson High School, the Tigers got three clutch saves from goalkeeper Madelyn VonAhsen in a shootout after the two squads remained tied following 110 minutes of play.

Molly Coverley sealed the deal with a penalty kick into the top left corner for a 3-2 edge in the shootout.

Douglas went on to fall in their opening state tournament contest by a 3-1 final to Centennial.

Carson’s Trey Thomas walk-off double over Douglas

Though there weren’t many spring sports moments to pick from as the season stays on hold, Carson’s Trey Thomas putting together a walk-off win in the only meeting thus far between Carson and Douglas left the sophomore with a lasting memory.

The ball floated out into the gap in right-center field, giving Carson a 4-3 win in a non-region contest between the two rivals.

The Senators led 3-0 through four innings, but a three-run fifth from the Tigers knotted the contest up until Thomas’ one swing of the bat.

Elijah Jackson wins second straight state title with buzzer beater

I didn’t see it live, but there were enough replays to make it a shot I will never forget.

Fallon’s Elijah Jackson nailing a 3-pointer at the buzzer to win the Class 3A state title was remarkable on its own – until you realize Jackson did the same thing last year too.

The shot eventually made it to SportsCenter’s Top 10 and took home the No. 1 spot on that night’s list.

It’s hard to envision a scenario in which a moment like that gets topped so it easily earns a spot on the best moments of the 2019-20 sports season.

Smalley, Bertolone named SL Offensive Players of Year in their respective sports

Madi Smalley and Anna Bertolone were in leagues of their own this past fall on both the soccer field and the volleyball court.

The two Douglas seniors each earned Offensive Player of the Year honors in the Sierra League after stringing together impressive seasons.

Smalley, who will continue playing soccer at Dallas Baptist, led the Sierra League in goals scored during her final year in the Tiger black and orange.

Bertolone, who is headed to UC Irvine to continue playing volleyball, was second in the league with 460 kills, had the sixth most digs (229) and eighth most blocks (29) over the course of the season.

Karen Beglin dominates regional golf tourney, takes fifth at state

In the middle of October, Carson High girls golfer Karen Beglin posted a 2-under 72 on the second day of the Class 4A Northern Regional golf tournament.

The second day score left Beglin with a 10-stroke advantage over the rest of the field for a regional title and earned the Senator junior a third consecutive appearance at the state tournament.

Beglin ended the state tournament with a fifth-place finish for the second year in a row.

Carson boys soccer rides streak of 11 games unbeaten in regional semifinals

The Senator boys soccer team put together one of its best runs over the last few years to clsoe the 2019 campaign with a bang.

A 7-0-4 stretch over the final 10 regular season games put Carson into the second seed in the Sierra League before the Senators bested Hug, 1-0, in the opening round of the 4A Northern Region tournament.

Carson took on Spanish Springs for a shot at making the state tournament, but fell to the Cougars to close their season with a 10-7-5 record.