Whittell boys b-ball beats Pershing County 61-46 in big school test
LOVELOCK, Nev. — The Whittell boys basketball team took a swing outside of its division on Tuesday, Jan. 19, and downed a bigger school for a big win. The Warriors won at Pershing County 61-46, controlling the second half to extend their winning streak to 10 games.
“This was a game we were looking towards all year,” Warriors coach Phil Bryant said. “We have wanted to play teams in higher divisions, but it is always difficult to get teams to play us.”
Whittell (12-2) erased a six-point deficit in the first half to pull even by halftime. Pershing County (15-4) had a 17-16 lead after the opening quarter, and stretched that advantage in the second quarter before the Warriors rallied.
“They were getting us early on the boards and scoring with their inside game,” Bryant said. “At halftime, we just talked about the opportunity and I told our players that they were as good as us instead of saying we were as good as they were.”
The Warriors began the game in a full-court press, but backed off after the first quarter. Whittell played half-court defense for the last three quarters, and contained the Mustangs after the break — including holding the hosts to six points in the third period.
Whittell’s defense keyed by the trio of seniors Quinn Kixmiller and Colin Buchholz along with junior Dismas Womack shut down Pershing County in the second half. For the Warriors’ offense in the last two quarters, senior Palmer Chaplin simply took control.
“He got to the rim for assists and scores and hit several big 3-pointers to open the margin in the fourth quarter,” Bryant said. “I don’t think they have seen a guard like him in their division.”
The Warriors led 40-34 after the third quarter and closed out Pershing County in the final frame. While extending their streak, the Warriors ended the Mustangs’ five-game winning streak.
“It was a big win for us, and hopefully keeps us on a pace to win our league and our division,” Bryant said. “It was a great matchup for us — they had size, speed, strong fundamentals and play at a high level.”
Chaplin led all scorers with 20 points on 6-of-17 shooting to go along with five rebounds and seven assists. Kixmiller finished with 14 points and nine rebounds while Buchholz added 14 points, eight rebounds and three assists.
Marcus Nester scored 18 points to lead Pershing County, and William Gattrell added 15. The Mustangs are currently in second place in Div. III Northern League.
Whittell returns to action at home Saturday, Jan. 23, for a league contest against Virginia City. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.
“Virginia City is also winning and that makes Saturday’s game even more important than it was a few weeks ago,” Bryant said. “Add that to the rivalry and Saturday should be some great basketball in our gym.”
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