Bulldog center Cody Burnside #41 controlled the tipoff and led the Dawgs with 19 points to defeat the Pirates 46-35 in the Moapa Valley’s new facility. Photo by Lou Martin

The Virgin Valley High School Bulldogs played poor guests Friday night in the Pirates new digs rallying in the fourth period to defeat the Pirates 46-35. Bulldog center Cody Burnside had his best game of the year scoring 19 points and pulling down 10 boards. Burnside and guard Zach Barnum had 10 of the Dawgs’ last 12 points to secure the win. Barnum after a slow start hit six crucial free throws down the stretch. Bulldog forward Keegan Biasi was his usual self doing the dirty work underneath with 10 boards. “We’ll take it,” said Coach Sean FitzSimons. “We had no flow in the game. We broke the press but could follow with our offense. Our defense forced bad shots from Moapa.”

The first quarter was an offensive nightmare for high scoring enthusiasts as the score stood at 6-5 in favor of the Dawgs but a pleasure for defensive lovers. There was absolutely no rhythm to the game as they played helter-skelter basketball for the first half of play. Burnside had five points in the period. The score after one half found the teams tied at 17-17. The Dawgs trailed 15-9 as the Pirates hit two straight three balls. Point guard made a huge steal and layup to lead a Bulldog charge to tie the game. The Dawgs made 9 turnovers and could only hit 7 of 16 free throws in the half.

The third period was another stalemate at 25-25, as neither team could find the range.  Burnside had six of the Bulldogs eight points in the period hitting two at the buzzer to force the tie. The Bulldogs, behind four points from reserve Tony Urias, jumped out to a 31-27 lead to begin the final quarter. The Pirates would not go away as they hit two long bombs cutting the Dawgs’ lead to 38-35 with two minutes remaining before Burnside, Barnum and the Bulldog defense scuttled the chances of a huge upset to inaugurate the rivalry in the new gym. The Dawgs outscored the Pirates 21-10 in the final period.

The Bulldog win gives them a two-game lead over Boulder City and Sunrise Mountain for the fourth and final spot in the Division 1 playoffs. The Dawgs control their own destiny as they host the Miners from Sunrise Mountain Monday night February 2 and the B.C. Eagles in the final league game on February 10. The Dawgs trail Del Sol and Chaparral by two in the loss column with four total games remaining.