In a bit of irony, the Virgin Valley High School Lady Bulldog basketball season began and ended with a game against Faith Lutheran High School. The Bulldogs lost in the first round of the 1-A Sunrise Division playoffs to the Crusaders 47-39 ending the Bulldog season with a respectable 18-7 overall but a disappointing 8-4 in league play. The Dawgs good have easily ran the table, in league play but lapses of four to six minutes in those losses sealed their fate.
The Bulldogs trailed by four points after one half of play 21-17 and were still in the ball game. As it has been in most previous games the Lady Dawgs went into a funk and went six minutes without a score in the third period while the Crusaders went on an 11-0 run to fall behind 36-24 after three periods. The Bulldogs rallied in the fourth period behind two big three’s by Abbie Barnard and Nikki Arquette to pull within four points at 43-39 with 1:05 remaining on the clock. The Crusaders scored on two lay ups to seal the win. Barnard and Arquette scored 13 points each to lead the Dawgs.
The future of the Dawgs bodes well as top scorers and rebounders will be back next year. Barnard, will return for her senior season with her 16.3 per game average. Six foot four center Kourtney Metzger returns with a 9.5 P.P.G. average and 6.5 rebounds per game. The Dawgs will lose starters Arquette, Alora Bonner and fireball Amanda Stenberg. Becca Bramlage the six foot sixth woman on the team has two seasons remaining along with Metzger. Also returning are guards Josilynn Lara, Jasmine Pulver and Riley Heath along with forwards April Smith and Kirston Tanner.
Bulldog Coach Chimane Creer said, “Wish we still playing, the girls and I are disappointed but if it had not been for illness and injuries during the season, who knows, we could gave have won up to 22 games. Missing Alora (Bonner), in the playoffs could have made a difference. She wasn’t a big scorer but did a lot of things for us on defense and breaking the press. Looking back at games this season, we would jump off to a big lead and then let them back in the game with lethargic play. I hope we can spend a lot more time in the gym this summer. We need to build some depth at guard and off our bench. We need ball handling skills to beat our opponents press and we probably will go to a half-court offense and utilize big girls Kourtney and Becca more in the paint. I’ve seen Kourtney play since the sixth grade when she was a raw talent and I am amazed at her progress to date. She needs to hit the weight room and become a more aggressive player underneath and not allow herself to be pushed around. Boulder City and Chaparral should field good teams next year with returning players.”