The Pershing County boys basketball team realized its goal of making it to the playoffs last Thursday in Winnemucca.
It was the first time in three years. They lost to the West Wendover Wolverines 67-30 in the quarterfinal round. Lovelock ended the year at 8-20 overall, and 3-11 in the 2A.
Kaden Chambers played on a bad ankle. Diego Gonzalez was back despite injuring his nose in a previous game.
The graduating senior played all but three minutes and wore a face guard throughout.
“Wouldn’t have it any other way,” he said. The Mustangs were minus Blake Burrows due to an FFA conference. Esteban Vidrio was absent because of illness. The coaches brought Zay Mcglothin and Tommy Meyers up from JV to help out.
“We got great minutes from the JV kids,” said coach Jesse Canchola.
Meanwhile in the other quarterfinal game, the North Tahoe Lakers beat Battle Mountain 56-41. In round two, the Lakers confronted Incline. Incline won 67-24. In the closest game of the tournament Wendover beat Yerington 65-63.
The championship round came down to Incline and Wendover. Incline walked away as the regional champs. The final score was 65-54.
The Mustangs lost to West Wendover twice during the regular season. In mid-January the Mustangs hosted, losing 53-24. On Feb. 11 they lost on the road 59-30.
“This was our third time facing Wendover and we knew the challenge ahead,” said Canchola. “We scratched and clawed and refused to give up. The kids played super hard. The underclassmen got tons of experience.”
At one point the Mustangs went on a 9-0 run, showing a glimpse of their potential. Donaldson and Gonzalez led the scoring with seven points each. Mcglothin and Nolf both had six points. Luis Sanchez and Chambers each added two.
Now many of the Mustangs shift to spring sports – baseball and track. They’re also preparing for prom and graduation. Seniors Nolf, Vidrio and Gonzalez graduate within weeks.
Canchola and Richard Campbell coached. Charles Safford also helped.
“We had a goal and we reached it,” said Canchola. “We won’t sit here and say it was the prettiest of seasons but we got better week by week and set the foundation. I’m proud of these young men and the coaching staff. The boys came a long way this year and I believe they grew as men.”