It took the Virgin Valley High School Lady Dawgs one half of play to solve the pressing defense of the Pirates from Moapa Valley High School Thursday night in the Dawg House. The Dawgs only tallied 15 points in the first half but recovered with 35 points in the second half of play to win 50-44. The game wasn’t 15 seconds in went disaster struck for the Dawgs, the gym went silent when senior forward Becca Bramlage gruesomely twisted her knee and went down and had to be carried from the game. “She (Bramlage) may be back in February. An MRI will be done on Monday,” said Bulldog Coach Chimane Creer.
The game proceeded in race horse fashion as the Pirates used a full press defense to confuse the Dawgs. The Pirates subbed five players every three minutes in the first period resulting in a low scoring first half. The Pirates and Dawgs were tied after one quarter 8-8. Guard Spencer Green led the Dawgs with four points. Second half woes continued to plague the Dawgs as they could not solve the Pirates pressing defensive scheme. The Bulldogs committed 20 turnovers in the first half while trailing 20-15 at the break. The Bulldogs were held to zero field goals with all 7 points coming from the free throw line. Green managed 8 points to lead the Dawgs.
The Bulldogs outscored the Pirates 11-7 in the third period to cut the Pirates lead to 27-26. The Pirates seemed to be wearing down as the shot blocking of Kourtney Metzger and Bernice Fiso took its toll. Bulldog Emma Barnum and Briana Todd led the Dawgs with four and three points respectively.
The Bulldogs finally took the lead 31-29 on a three point play by Barnum and a Metzger pass to Fiso for two. The Dawgs built up the biggest lead of the night 36-29 before the Pirates called a time out. The Pirates would not go away as they cut the Dawgs lead to 37-35. The Pirates led once again 40-39 on a three point bomb by Emily Mills with 3:20 remaining. Bulldog guards Green and Barnum finished off the Pirates hitting five free throws plus a two from Todd. The game ended 50-44 to the delight of the Bulldog faithful. “We need our players to step up now that we lost Bramlage,” said Creer. “If we don’t take care of the ball it could be a long season. We are young but getting the job done.” Green led the Dawgs with 14 points followed by Barnum with 13 and Fiso with 9 points. Todd added 7 points and Metzger finished with 10 blocks for her evenings work.
The Bulldogs play five games in the next six days, traveling to TECH on Monday before returning to host Del Sol on Wednesday. The Bulldogs begin play in their BIT on Friday against Wells High School of northern Nevada at 6 p.m. Panguitch High School (Utah) will again field a strong, well-coached team and is considered one of the Tournament favorites.