Looking back at Boulder City basketball's 3OT win against Sunrise Mountain

Posted Sunday, 24 May 2020 ‐ Las Vegas Sun

Editor’s Note: The Las Vegas Sun’s annual showcase of the best in high school sports, the Sun Standout Awards, was canceled this month as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19. While the pandemic may have pushed the event off the calendar until 2021, our commitment to spotlighting prep sports is undiminished. Our local athletes did some amazing things, both on and off the field. Today, we share their stories. This high school basketball game had everything you could ask for: Multiple buzzer beaters, overtimes and hard play from both teams. Most important: Boulder City High’s 80-78 triple-overtime victory against Sunrise Mountain last winter in the class 3A Southern Region semifinal produced plenty of memories. “It was one of those games like, holy cow how many overtimes are we looking at — until we don’t have players?” Boulder City coach John Balistere said. “It was certainly a lot of fun to be a part of. Unfortunately, somebody had to lose a game like that.” Boulder City, which trailed by 11 points entering the fourth quarter, sent the game to overtime with a 3-pointer from Ethan Speaker at the end of regulation. Sunrise Mountain returned the favor when Dumarea Bellamy made a shot at the end of the first overtime to again extend the game. Sunrise Mountain had one more trick in it. As time wound down with Boulder City up two points in the second overtime, the Miners' Kaidence Young hucked up a shot from near halfcourt at the buzzer and was fouled. Young hit two of the three free throws to force yet another overtime. Once it reached overtime No. 3, it was a battle of attrition. Each team was losing players as fouls accumulated, and Balistere yo-yoed between thinking he was going to win and knowing he was about to lose. Defense came up big for the Eagles in what was the seventh period of basketball for the two-point win. “It was just unbelievable,” Balistere said. “The ball bounced our way and we were fortunate enough to win that game.” Speaker poured in 27 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Eagles, who also received 20 points from Matt Morton and 11 from Jacob Sanford. Sunrise Mountain coach Stephen Van Orden raved about his team's effort. The bus was late getting to Boulder City, meaning his team received just eight minutes of warmups before having to play in front of a hostile crowd. All they did was lead by double-digits in the second half. "It was a learning experience for our kids to get them ready for next year," Van Orden said. The following night, Boulder City was involved in another overtime game, this time losing 64-62 to Del Sol in the regional finals. But it still reached the state tournament in Reno based on its win the previous night. • • • On the soccer pitch, the Virgin Valley and Boulder City girls went scoreless into the final 10 minutes of their region championship game. Virgin Valley grabbed an edge late in the second half on a goal from Rainee Brito, and it looked like that was going to be enough. Instead, with the Virgin Valley bench waiting for the official to whistle the game over, Boulder City earned a corner kick, and scored in the final minute to bring on overtime. “It was intense and crazy,” Virgin Valley coach Scott Trimming said. “It was a good battle back and forth.” Just like regulation, overtime very nearly came and went without a score. This time, Virgin Valley waited until even closer to the whistle to net the goal. It was Brito with two minutes left, receiving a through-pass from Jaymie Hulet just outside the 18-yard box and depositing it over the keeper’s head. Virgin Valley won its first region title, 2-1 in overtime. “It could have gone either way and, to be perfectly honest, no better team won that game. Boulder was just as good as we were, if not better,” Trimming said. “It was a very good game.”

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