After opening the season with a 3-point loss at Tonopah and a 7-point home setback against Big Pine, the Beatty High School boys basketball team went into the Kody Beach Memorial Basketball Tournament at Round Mountain hoping to go into the holiday break on a high note.
After losing to Wells in their opening game, the Hornets bounced back to defeat Carlin (64-48) and Eureka (53-43) to improve to 2-3.
Senior Geo Maldonado led the Hornets with 14 points in a 57-35 loss to Wells. Maldonado was Beatty’s leading scorer for the tournament, netting 41 points in three games.
“Offensively, we struggled to find any rhythm, and a huge part of that was our 19 turnovers to their five,” Beatty coach Steve Sullivan said.
In fact, the Hornets recorded almost as many turnovers as rebounds (23). Junior Jorge Leon led Beatty in that category with seven. Leon and senior Jacob Henry each scored 8 points.
Shooting was a major issue against Wells. The Hornets took 10 3-point shots and didn’t make any of them, they shot 34 percent from 2-point range and were just 5 of 11 from the free-throw line.
But the Hornets settled down after that. Turnovers were still an issue, as they committed 14 against Carlin and 19 against Eureka, but Sullivan said overall, the offense was much more effective.
“The difference being that against Wells we were not moving the ball as a team and were playing with a selfish mentality, which tends to happen when you are playing from behind,” Sullivan said. “However, against Carlin and Eureka we started moving the ball around and minimizing our dribbling. In the Carlin game alone, we had a total of 17 assists.”
The scoring against Carlin was also more balanced, with junior Fabian Perez scoring 14 points, Maldonado adding 13 and senior Alan Sandoval chipping in with 12. Long-range shooting remained an issue, as Jacob Henry hit the only successful 3-pointer out of 12 taken, but the Hornets were very good from inside the arc, hitting 29 of 56 shots for 52 percent.
Leon again led the team with 8 rebounds, while Henry grabbed 7. Sandoval’s 6 assists were tops on the team, while Leon finished with 4 assists to go along with a team-high 4 steals.
Sandoval had a strong offensive game against Eureka, erupting for 20 points with two 3-pointers. Maldonado (14) and Henry (10) also were in double-figures for Beatty, which trailed 19-16 at the half, took the lead during the third quarter and pulled away down the stretch.
Sullivan was pleased by his team’s performance at Round Mountain and is optimistic about his team as it prepares for Class 1A Southern League competition.
“We left the tournament on a positive note, not because we won but because of how we were playing, and we plan to continue building on that type of basketball,” he said.
Aside from a Feb. 12 home game against Tonopah, Beatty’s schedule is entirely made up of league games the rest of the way. The Hornets will not play again until consecutive road games Jan. 15 against Spring Mountain (3-5) and Jan. 18 against Pahranagat Valley (5-6). The Hornets next play at home Jan. 22 against Indian Springs.