Virginia City Muckers win despite turnovers
Nevada Appeal Sports Writer
RENO ” The reward for the Virginia City girls basketball team for its opening-round win over Wells in the NIAA 1A Regionals was a practice session when the squad returned home.
The Lady Muckers shot 32 percent from the floor and turned the ball over a whopping 35 times, yet still rolled to an easy 52-32 win Thursday afternoon at Wooster High School.
Virginia City advanced to the semifinals against Coleville, who beat Eureka 51-45, today at 6:20 p.m. at Wooster. The winner of Friday’s game advances to the finals at North Valleys.
Virginia City coach Todd Hess was pleased that his team advanced, but not about the sloppy play, hence the extra practice back in Virginia City.
“We had a million turnovers,” Hess said. “I’m upset about that. We’re going home to practice after we get some food. They know we’ll stay until we get it right. It was their idea not mine.”
Certainly a little practice never hurt anybody, and Hess, because his team enjoyed such a big lead throughout the game, was able to rest his key players quite a bit in the second half. Reserves played nearly the entire fourth quarter.
What Hess was happy about is that his team started fast again. In the regular-season finale, the Lady Muckers bolted to a 17-2 lead against Pyramid Lake en route to an easy win. This time, Virginia City led 18-1 after the first 5 1/2 minutes of the contest.
“The girls had great focus and energy early,” Hess said. “We were able to race out to a lead and we got it going from there.
“There were a couple girls that we tried to keep the ball out of their hands defensively, and we tried to roll our trap correctly.”
Gigi Glogovac scored five of her seven points in the first 90 seconds and Megan Brandon, who led all scorers with 19 points, scored the first of three 3-pointers to give the Lady Muckers a quick 8-0 lead. Wells’ Alyssa Cromie, who led the Leopards with 14 points, broke the drought with a free throw.
However, VC rolled off 10 straight points in the next 2 minutes, 5 seconds to take the aforementioned 18-1 edge. Brandon had two 3-pointers in that span, while Sophie Glogovac and Alex Ballinger added a bucket apiece. Wells didn’t help itself, going 0-for-10 in the opening five minutes, and many of those missed shots were of the 3-foot variety or less. The Lady Muckers also caused five turnovers during the stretch.
The first quarter proved to be a microcosm of the game for Wells, which finished with 39 turnovers and a 22 percent mark from the floor. Neither stat would win a pick-up game, let alone a high school playoff contest.
“It (their press) got to us a little,” Wells coach Clay Fitch said. “They got their share of turnovers, but I thought our press bothered them at times. They got out there 8-0. We had some good looks, but missed every one of them. That gave them (Virginia City) confidence.
“I think that happens with young girls. We have a lot of young girls, and it was the first time for them (in the playoffs).”
Wells did score the last two baskets of the first quarter to make it 18-5, but that would be the last field goal the Leopards would score over the next 12-plus minutes. When the smoke cleared, Virginia City had a 36-15 lead with 3:32 left in the third quarter.
In fact, Wells managed just six free throws the entire second quarter. Virginia City went on an 8-1 run for a 26-7 lead, as Cambria Breithaupt scored a basket and two free throws, and Sophie Glogovac and Jill Dupre added two points apiece.
The Lady Muckers managed to boost the lead to 46-19 after three quarters thanks to a 10-2 run in the final 2 1/2 minutes of the third period. Dupre had two buckets, while Brandon, Ballinger and Sophie Glogovac added two points apiece.
The lead stayed at 29 points for the first 3 1/2 minutes of the final quarter. Wells scored the game’s final nine points, all of which came against the VC reserves.