In the 1A Southern League, the team to beat this year could be the Lady Knights basketball team (8-5 overall, 1-0), who seems to be continuing where they left off last year.
Last year, the Knights were 18-6 and 8-0 in league and the only team to defeat the 15-time state champion Pahranagat Valley until the state playoffs.
Round Mountain then went up against a sound Owyhee team in the state semifinals, and Owyhee went on to win the state championship.
Round Mountain has never won a state championship in girls basketball.
Knights coach Jake Topholm said he has several reasons to be optimistic this year.
“I like the team’s size and discipline,” the coach said. “I have several girls returning from last year’s team and this is their third year in my system. It’s nice not to have to teach and reteach, because the girls already know the majority of the drills and what is expected day in and day out.”
Round Mountain is led in scoring by two veteran players, junior Alyssa Hanks and senior Hannah Swafford. Both were named co-players of the year for the Division IV Southern League last season by NevadaPreps.com. Hanks received honorable mention to the all-state team.
In the team’s demolition of Beaver Dam on Friday, Hanks led the scoring for the Lady Knights with 20 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks, and Swafford had 12 points.
The team did well during the recent Round Mountain tournament held on Dec. 16-17. The Lady Knights beat both Beatty and Tonopah, and lost to Eureka in a one-point game.
With a veteran team comes skill, and according to the coach the team is not short on talent.
“We have good guard play in Hannah Swafford and Tia Sample and I feel we have the best post player in the conference in Alyssa Hanks,” he said. “We get a lot of energy too when I put the Davis (Brianne) girl in off the bench, she is very active and scrappy. I do still feel we will be right there with PV (Panthers) again this year. We are experienced at several key positions and the young girls are playing well.”
Contact sports editor Vern Hee at firstname.lastname@example.org