Warriors’ season ends on competitive note
For most of three quarters on Friday in Lovelock it appeared as if Whittell High was going to pull off an upset that would have sent shockwaves all the way to Needles.
However, the Warriors lost two key players to fouls over the final 9 minutes as Lovelock eliminated Whittell 56-51 in the semifinals of the Northern 2A Division boys basketball tournament Friday in Lovelock.
Junior point guard Nestor Flores fouled out with a minute remaining in the third quarter and 6-foot-4 senior post Ryan Salomon was lost to fouls late in the final quarter.
“The final score wasn’t indicative of how close this game really was,” said WHS coach Don Amaral. “Once Nestor fouled out, we couldn’t deal with the pressure of their guards on the point.”
Despite winning 12 percent of their games this season, the Warriors made a strong push to qualify for state for the second straight season. Whittell only loses one starter — Salomon — to graduation.
“The boys improved tremendously and we’re looking forward to next year,” Amaral said.
When the Warriors (3-22) look back on their third defeat of the season to Lovelock, they’ll be constantly reminded of the discrepancy in fouls whistled.
“This was a tremendous game, and unfortunately the calls didn’t go our way,” said Amaral, who squad was assessed with 11 more fouls than Lovelock. “Lovelock is a very good team and very well-coached.”
Salomon led the Warriors with 14 points, while Flores contributed 11. Brian Jones and Kyle Olsen netted seven and six points, respectively.
The Mustangs went on to claim the division title Saturday with a thrilling 78-70 double overtime victory over Hawthorne. Lovelock will be the only Northern Division team participating in this week’s state tournament at North Valleys High in Reno.