It was apparent, from the game opening jump ball, that the Moapa Valley High School Pirates had a plan to defeat the Virgin Valley High School Bulldogs Friday night in the ‘Pirates Den’. The Bulldogs blew out the Pirates earlier in the month 69-30. The Bulldogs were 7-2 coming into the game and the Pirates were 2-7. When the game ended, a shocked Bulldog team and their faithful fans left the gym with stunned looks on their faces. The host Pirates pulled off the upset of the year over the archrival Bulldogs 42-38. Pirate coach Dalles Larson Pirate’s team came out in a deliberate spread offense utilizing quick passes opening up shots from the perimeter and slashing moves to the basket. The move seemed to confuse the Bulldogs as they could not find any offensive rhythm during the game. “Dalles told me after the game,” said Bulldog coach Sean FitzSimons. “This was their ‘Super Bowl’ we worked on this plan for two weeks.”
The Bulldogs could only manage two baskets in the first period but still led the Pirates 10-9. Bulldog Andrew Memmott had both for five points. The Dawgs increased their lead to 25-17 at the break. Marcus Saunders had seven points in the period to lead all scorers. Turnovers hurt the Dawgs during the period.
The third period was all Pirates as they went on a 19-7 run to take the lead 37-32 after three quarters. The Dawgs led 32-31 before two huge threes by the Pirates in the last few seconds gave them their first lead. The Dawgs could only manage seven points during an 11 minute stretch of the second and third periods. The Dawgs threw up bricks in the first six and a half minutes of the last period scoring four points but only trailed 39-36. A Bulldog timeout set up a shot by Zach Barnum for two pints cutting the Pirates lead to 40-38. The Dawgs ended the game on a sour note as they committed three unforced turnovers to end the game. “You have to give them credit,” said FitzSimons. “They forced us out of our game.” Jarret Tietjen led Bulldog scorers with 10 points. The loss dropped the Dawgs 1-A Sunrise League record to 7-3 with four games remaining. The Dawgs host 5-5 Sunrise Mountain on Tuesday Feb. 2 before traveling to face tough Desert Pines and Chaparral High Schools. The Dawgs finish against Boulder City in the Dawg House on Jan.11. The Bulldogs must win at least two games to assure a spot in the league playoffs. Which Bulldog team, will show up to face the Miners on Tuesday.