The Whittell boys roared past Eureka Thursday, Feb. 15, in the quarterfinals of the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association Class 1A Northern Region Basketball Championships and have reached the semifinals for the fifth straight season.
The Warriors (24-3) pummeled Eureka 71-37 at Wooster High School in Reno and will play Jackpot (20-2) at 4:40 p.m. today, Feb. 16, at North Valleys High School in Reno.
Genaro Mena, Trent Dingman and Troy Libert each scored 14 points Thursday to lead the Warriors balanced offensive attack. Libert added four blocks and Mena dished six assists.
Also for the Warriors, Isaiah Womack had nine points, Corey Huber had eight and Nic Buchholz added five.
The Warriors jumped out to a quick 19-7 lead after the first period and led 37-18 at halftime.
"We started fast again which is such an important part of our game plans," said Warriors head coach Phil Bryant. "It is the press that gives us an advantage and our conditioning is second to none. Troy had a big game and Genaro continued his outstanding play and that has been important with Corey under the weather this week. And if the league had a sixth man award it would go to Nic. He comes off the bench with instant energy and has been crucial in our stretch run. Everyone got into the game so the experience the young guys are getting by being there should help us down the road so they know what it takes to get to playoffs and then what it takes to win."
The semifinal match against Jackpot, from the very tip of northern Nevada about seven hours away from the South Shore, looks like it will be close.
Jackpot is the Eastern League champion and also handled Eureka easily, twice. The Jaguars dumped Eureka 55-18 in their first meeting and 73-44 in the second.
Should Whittell earn a victory, it would play at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17, against the winner of Mineral County and McDermitt at North Valleys.
"It should be a great game," Bryant said. "(Some) coaches have told us they are too quick to press and never make mistakes. That should make it interesting because we are not changing our game plan at this point. We are who we are and we are confident in our ability to create problems for offenses."