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Boys basketball: Pahrump Valley has chance to top last year’s win total

It was fun while it lasted for the Pahrump Valley High School boys basketball team.

The Trojans put together a rare three-game winning streak, closing out the Vegas Invitational with two victories and going back into Sunset League play with a 54-6 destruction of Equipo Academy last Tuesday.

PVHS coach Dan Clift said the Yeti simply are not ready to play Class 3A basketball, but for the Trojans, who won just six games last year, will take it. The win was their third consecutive victory and gave them a 5-9 record.

But reality set in quickly for the Trojans, who have lost back-to-back league games against Del Sol (71-43) on Thursday and Democracy Prep (65-21) on Monday.

Everything clicked against the defenseless Yeti, as Pahrump Valley shot 53 percent from the floor. Leading the way was senior guard Grant Odegard, who connected on 5 of 6 3-pointers and finished with 19 points, with junior Chris Briscoe chipping in with 11. Junior Logan Gavenda led the team in rebounds with 7, while Odegard added 5 steals.

The Trojans took a 22-3 lead after the first quarter and blanked the Yeti during the second, taking a 37-3 halftime lead.

In a way, the loss to the Blue Knights, as one-sided as it was, represented improvement for the Trojans. A year ago, Democracy Prep posted 70 points in the first game between the teams and recorded a 97-44 rout in the second.

Only three players scored for the Trojans on Monday night, with Odegard netting 13. Jerrick Sparkman showed some nice moves in the paint for 6 points, and Gavenda had the only other basket.

Gavenda was the leading scorer against the Dragons, netting 12 points. Odegard and sophomore Dylan Severt each tallied 9 points for the Trojans, who trailed 16-12 after one but 37-15 at halftime. Gavenda’s 6 rebounds led the team, as did Odegard’s 5 steals. As a team, the Trojans recorded just 6 assists.

Odegard consistently has been the team’s leading scorer, averaging 14.7 points per game going into Monday night. Junior Andrew Avena is next at 12.6, but he has played only six games and scored 27 in one of them.

Syblue Glisson, a 6-foot-1 sophomore, is the team’s leading rebounder with 6.6 per game, just ahead of the 6-foot-3 Gavenda’s 6.3. As a team, the Trojans are averaging fewer than 10 assists per game, but they are getting 16 steals, led by Odegard’s 5.8.

Odegard’s 38-percent shooting leads the team, a good thing as he has taken 70 more shots than any of his teammates. He has played a whopping 446 minutes through 15 games; second-place Briscoe has played 265. Odegard has taken almost one-third of the team’s free throws and is shooting 73 percent from the line. He is shooting 37 percent from outside the arc and 39 percent inside of it, a good reason he has taken more 3-point shots (118) than 2-point shots (75).

The Trojans are averaging 3.6 blocked shots per game, with Kasey Dilger’s 13 leading the way, followed by Glisson with 11 and Sparkman and Gavenda with 10 apiece. A team that does not handle the press well against quicker teams, the Trojans have 355 turnovers against just 140 assists.

There are not too many teams the Trojans match up well against physically, but they have shown some good skills against teams that can’t run them off the floor. Looking ahead, few such teams remain on the schedule. A nonconference game against Class 2A Lake Mead Christian (although the Eagles are 11-3) remains, as does the rematch against hapless Equipo.

Winning those two games means the Trojans will exceed their win total from a year ago and match their highest win total over the past 12 seasons. Picking off any other team on the schedule — the odds are long, but this team competes and doesn’t back down from anybody — would be a special accomplishment.

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