Mesquite, NV –

Friday night will be a sequel to the Virgin Valley High School Basketball teams taking on Moapa Valley for the final regular-season game before heading into the NIAA Southern Regional Tournament.

The Girls Basketball Team takes to the court as the #2 in the 3A Southern Desert League against the #1 in the same league starting at 5:00 pm at Moapa Valley High School located at 2400 N St Joseph Street in Overton, Nevada. The Boy’s team then takes over the spotlight at 6:30 pm, being tied in second place for the Desert League with Moapa Valley.

The Girl Bulldogs have a “Tall Order” to overcome as they face off against the Moapa Valley Pirates team who has been preeminent in the paint and on the boards, crushing opponents underneath the net. The last time the ‘Dawgs met the Pirates was on the 27th of January, where the ‘Dawgs were sunk by the Pirates 54-30. The loss was one of the worst for the Bulldog Girls of the season. However, still, the Girls have had an excellent season so far racking up 14 wins and 8 losses overall, and are the #2 team in the league behind Moapa Valley.

Ana Tausinga goes up for the basket in a huge comeback win against Losee earlier in the season. (Photo: Jason Andrus)

“We look forward to the opportunity of playing the number one team again,” said Virgin Valley High School Girl’s Head Coach Cliff Hughes. “They are who we all are chasing right now. They are well-coached, and they have the full package. No weak spots. We are going to play hard and see what happens.”

The Bulldog Girls are 6-1 in league play and in the last matchup with MVHS did not have a player in double figures for points. Juniors Riley Price and Brooklin Montoya both had 8 points each to lead the team. The Pirates (7-0 in league) on the other hand had two players in double figures, Sophomore Haylie Western had 15 points and Junior Sydney Reese had 12 points. The Bulldogs shot 26% for the game while the Pirates shot 42%. The Bulldogs were also outrebounded 16-32. The Pirates won the battle in the paint, as they had to go to Western and Reese for scoring since the Bulldogs did shut down Pirate star and guard Emma Humes who only had 4 points. The Bulldogs were also missing a couple of key players due to Covid protocol.

The key to this game will be under the net and within the paint. The Pirates have a height advantage with players who are physical and strong. While the “Dawg Girls shut down Humes and the rest of the Pirates on the outside, they struggled on keeping the Pirates off the boards and scoring within the paint. The Bulldogs will be looking at their Forwards and Center, such as Ana Tausinga, Riley Price, and Elsa Whipple, to be at the top of their games, blocking out, grabbing more rebounds, and getting into the basket for the offense. If they can get an advantage on the boards and get the ball under the basket, they can get more looks on the outside and from downtown for three-pointers. They only had 1 three-pointer last time against Moapa. The battle will most likely be won under the rim.

“We are excited to host the Bulldogs for our senior night and for the outright league title,” said MVHS Head Coach Brandon Jones, “We know they were missing one of their starters last time we played them so we know it will be a different game. They are a young team and has been getting better each week.”


Since they last met, the Bulldog Girls have been perfect in games, beating out Somerset Sky Pointe 50-22, smashing Del Sol 52-18, even grounding out the powerful Losee 52-45, and ripping Coral Academy 58-17 to shreds.

The 21-2 Pirates have also been perfect since their win over the Bulldogs. They shot up the Lions of Somerset Losee 48-31, extinguished the Dragons of Del Sol 58-7, clipping the wings of Somerset Sky Pointe 69-5, and shooting the Falcons of Coral Academy out of the sky 42-25.

Evia Toone Shoots the 3 pointer against MVHS on January 27th which resulted in a tough loss. (Photo: Jason Andrus)

The matchup is set and it is for the NIAA Desert League Championship Title. Who will come out on top? Will the Bulldogs cage the Pirates or will the Pirates send the Bulldogs off the plank?

“I am proud of my team, They have worked hard to secure a spot in the region tournament. My experience has been come tournament time you never know what is going to happen. We are excited and looking forward to not only Friday, but for next week,” said ‘Dawgs Coach Hughes about rest of the season.

“I am expecting both towns to pack the gym and the girls are excited for the challenge that the Bulldogs present,” said Pirates Coach Jones.

Again, the game starts at 5:00 pm, Friday February 11th at the Moapa Valley High School Campus in their new gymnasium. The NIAA Southern Regional Tournament starts February 15 and location is to be decided on outcomes of this game, but most likely will be at Moapa Valley High School as they have the best record in Southern Nevada for 3A Division.

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