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3 Pahrump Valley athletes make NIAA awards list

At the end of every school year, the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association makes a list of their top-20 senior student-athletes of the year, 10 from Northern Nevada, 10 from Southern Nevada.

This list is for all five of Nevada’s divisions, 1A up to 5A. So, this is a great accomplishment for all of the young men and women to make the list.

For being picked by the NIAA, each student receives a $1,000 scholarship to be used toward their college education.

This year, Pahrump Valley had three students make the top-10 list for Southern Nevada, tying Galena High from the north with the most students representing one school.

The Trojans who were picked to represent Pahrump Valley were Makoa Batongbacal, Gracie Tilley and Alex Rieger.

Makoa Batongbacal

Batongbacal was a member of the football and basketball programs at Pahrump Valley.

As a senior on the football team, he finished with 13 rush attempts for 109 yards and one touchdown. He also had two catches for 26 yards to help the offense.

On defense, Batongbacal had 21 tackles, two pass deflections and an interception.

The Trojans went 4-5 under first-year head coach Thom Walker.

Makoa was the starting point guard on the boys basketball team.

Following high school, he signed on to play football for St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin. St. Norbert athletics are part of the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference in division III.

Gracie Tilley

As a senior, Tilley was a member of the Southern regional champion girls golf team and she was a member of the girls basketball team at Pahrump Valley.

During the 2022-23 basketball season, she averaged 9.3 minutes per game and scored 2.8 points per game.

The Lady Trojans finished the season 24-6 and lost in the first round of the 3A state tournament.

In golf, the 2022 season was Tilley’s only year playing for the Trojans. They won the 3A Southern regional championship for the fourth consecutive season.

Alex Rieger

Rieger was a member of the boys basketball team and a member of the track and field team.

This past 2023 season on the track and field team, Rieger only participated in the shot put and discus field events.

Despite not qualifying for the state competition, Rieger set a personal record distance with 35 feet, 3 ½ inches in the shot put event at the 3A Southern regional competition.

His best finish of the season came in the Pahrump Valley Weekday meet, where he took fifth place in the discus throw with a distance of 88 feet, 10 ½ inches.

Rieger played forward for the basketball team under second-year head coach David Wilson.

Wilson led the Trojans to a 7-18 record for the 2022-23 season.

The other seven student-athletes to make the list for Southern Nevada were Bryce Bateman of SLAM Nevada, Olivia Charron of Green Valley Christian School, Bret Pendleton of Boulder City High, Madison Small of Foothill High, Rylan Walter of Faith Lutheran High and Bruce Woodbury of Boulder City High.

Contact sports writer/editor Danny Smyth at dsmyth@pvtimes.com. Follow @_dannysmyth on Twitter.

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