Bulldog guard Zach Barnum #23 hits a huge three-ball to help the Dawgs defeat Sunrise Mountain 47-45. Barnum had another three and 12 points for the game. Photo by Lou Martin

Burnside hits shot with 16 seconds remaining to give Dawgs the win.

The Virgin Valley High School Bulldogs knew they were in for a tough game in the Dawg House Monday night as the Sunrise High School Miners came into town hoping to keep their playoff aspirations on schedule. When the smoke cleared, the score board showed the Miners losing to the Bulldogs 47-45. Bulldog center Cody Burnside repeated his huge game against the Pirates Friday night with 19 points and 8 rebounds to keep the Bulldogs in playoff contention. Zach Barnum chipped in 10 points and Keegan Biasi manned up once more with 9 points and 8 important boards for the win.

The game began with the Miners blowing by the confused Bulldog defense for an 11-1 lead early in the period. Burnside hit for three points followed by five from Biasi to cut the Miners lead to 15-8. The Miners responded with two points before Cody Jones and Andrew Memmott hit for two each to end the first period with the Miners up 17-12.

The Bulldogs had their first lead 21-20, 5:45 into the second period behind six points from Burnside and a big three ball from Barnum. Barnum hit for 6 more in the period to lead the Dawgs to a 29-26 advantage at the break. “After a big game at Moapa, it was tough to come back with another big league game,” said Bulldog Coach Sean FitzSimons.

The third period began with Barnum hitting another three-ball to give the Dawgs their biggest lead of the game 32-28. Not to be denied, the Miners responded and regained the lead 40-39 after three quarters. Bulldog guard Jarrett Tietzen brought a huge roar from the Bulldog faithful blocking a Miners lay-up attempt late in the period.

The defenses took over in the final period as the teams seemed to slow the game down to eliminate critical mistakes. “We went to a half court press which caused the Miners to commit turnovers down the stretch,” added FitzSimons.

The Bulldogs still trailed 44-41 with 2:35 remaining in the game. The Dawgs called a timeout to regroup but could not stop the Miners as they fell behind 45-42. Burnside hit two underneath to give the Dawgs the lead 46-45 with 16 seconds on the clock. A quick timeout by the Miners to set up the final shot of the game by point guard Damon Heard went astray as the final shot was short. Biasi grabbed the ball and was fouled with one second on the clock and hit one of two free throws to make the final score 47-45 in favor of the Dawgs. Burnside outscored the Miners 6-5 in the final period.

The win gave the Dawgs a 7-4 league record and 11-11 overall with three games remaining. The Dawgs have a two game lead over Boulder City but travel to 8-2 Chaparral Wednesday, February 4 before coming home to face 11-0 Desert Pines on Tuesday, February 10. The Dawgs’ last and possible most critical game would be against the Eagles from Boulder City to end the season Thursday, February 12. The Eagles trail the Dawgs by two games but face weaker opponents before traveling to the Virgin Valley. “It’s going to take a lot of effort to beat Chaparral but I feel good about it. We’re going there with confidence,” added FitzSimons. On a side note the win was FitzSimons’ 40th in his short head coaching stint with the Dawgs.