It was so close.
The Pershing County and Battle Mountain High School girls basketball teams tied several times throughout their Tuesday night (Jan. 9) match-up in Lovelock. But as the final buzzer sounded, Battle Mountain came away with a one-point victory at 39-38.
“The loss stung,” said PCHS coach Lee Houston.
The Lady Mustangs bounced back on Friday night to smash Silver Stage 65-46.
With the split of the two games, Pershing County sits at 13-5 overall and 3-2 in the Northern 2A.
“We let this game slip through our fingers,” said Houston about the loss to Battle Mountain (6-1).
Pershing County led by four points at the end of both the first (7-3) and second quarters (19-15). The Lady Mustangs led by five points at the end of the third (32-27).
Lovelock’s defenders squashed Battle Mountain's offense as best they could. Still, Battle Mountain’s Sheradyn Slaybaugh broke through with an early field goal — the first of many.
Battle Mountain pulled ahead early in the third quarter behind a field goal from Isabella DeAllah (20-19). Pershing County trailed by one point for the first time in the game.
Taryn Houston reclaimed the top spot. She and Sydney Jensen shot back-to-back 2-point field goals and Marissa Garcia sank a 3-pointer.
In the fourth quarter, it started to fall apart for the Lady Mustangs. A 3-point shot from Battle Mountain’s Sruti Bhakta tied the score at 34. Taryn Houston powered through with a 3-pointer for Lovelock.
But with one minute left in the game, the rivals were stalemated at 37. Battle Mountain edged ahead behind free throws from DeAllah and Bhakta. The Lady Longhorns held on all the way to the final buzzer.
“Going forward, we need to let this loss fuel our fire,” said Houston. “Everyone must do better, coaches and players included.”
Houston led the scoring with 13 points. Faith Happy scored eight more. Jensen added seven points and Itatty Espinoza went for five. Marissa Garcia scored three points and Makenna Houston had two.
The Lady Mustangs punched in 65 points against Silver Stage (2-5) on Friday night.
“It was nice to see the girls put up some big points,” said Houston. “That’s the most we’ve scored all season.”
Pershing County jumped out of the gate to score 22 points in the first quarter.
“Our guards did a great job creating easy shots for our posts all night,” said Houston. “Ittaty caught most of those passes to lead the scoring with 23 points."
Houston and Happy also scored in the double digits. Houston netted 11 points. Happy added 10 more. Garcia scored six points and Desiree Mosier added five.
Jensen and Maria Jimenez each added four points and Houston scored two.
But the coach expressed some concerns.
“We fouled way too much,” he said. “We need to play aggressive defense, but we have to stay in control. We’ve got to quit putting the opposing team on the line.”
The coach noted the opposing team’s strengths.
“We give Silver Stage a lot of credit,” he said. “They are a scrappy and competitive team.”
On Tuesday, Jan. 16, Pershing County took on Yerington. Results were not available at press time.
On Friday, the Lady Mustangs play North Tahoe on the road at 6 p.m. The next day they travel to Incline to challenge the Highlanders at 2 p.m.