The Virgin Valley Lady Bulldogs will host the girl’s side of the Bulldog Invitational Tournament beginning Dec. 6, 2018. The girl’s will share both the old and new gyms this season.
Perennial tourney Champion Panguitch (Utah) returns once again and will be the favorite to win it all. The Bobcats have been the class of 1A basketball in Utah winning four state titles in the past five years. Award winning coach Curtiss Barney will return four starters from last year’s team. Despite facing 2-A to 4A opponents in previous tournaments, the Bobcats have dominated each and every one. The Bobcats open against Moapa Valley who return the bulk of last year’s squad who went 12-0 in Sunrise League play and 25-4 overall. 3A Southern Conference MVP sharp shooting Lainey Cornwell and fellow Southern Conference first teamer Kaitlyn Anderson will lead the Pirates. This game could be the highlight game of the tournament. The Pirates upset the Bobcats 48-39 in the semi’s last year before losing to Pahrump in the Championship game. The second game of the A Bracket begins at 4:30pm in the old gym with 4A Shadow Ridge facing off against a tough Dixie (Utah) squad. The Mustangs only went 2-10 in 4A play but return leading players, sophomores Cristina Thames and Mackenzie Swanson. The Flyers who lost to Moapa Valley by one point in last season’s tournament returns an experienced team.
The B Bracket begins play at 6pm featuring host Virgin Valley against Kenab (Utah). The Lady Dawgs went 9-3 in 3A Sunrise League play last season but are young but should improve as the season moves on. The Dawgs return point guard Nathalie Lagamayo who was named to the All-Sunrise League first team. Kanab is young and inexperienced but should stay with the Bulldogs. The evening’s last game features last year’s champion Pahrump Valley and 2A Lincoln County. The Trojans are strong returning 11 players from last year including three starters. Leading the way for the Trojans are Kylie Stritenberger, Jackie Dobbs and Kate Daffer. The Lynx meanwhile are hoping to retain their 2A Southern title, 16-0 in 2017-2018. Lincoln returns three starters including Sadie Soderborg who was second leading scorer for the Lynx. The Lynx play a tough controlling defense that makes this an interesting matchup. The winners of each bracket play Friday at 3pm and 6pm respectively. The championship game will be at 1:30pm on Saturday.