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Tark would’ve liked Division IV basketball

They dimmed the lights for Tark the Tark on Wednesday evening at 10:30 p.m. after the UNLV basketball game. This brought me back to local basketball.

Do you think Tark ever watched a Division IV game? It wouldn’t surprise me if he did for Tark loved basketball. Tark, you did wonders for Nevada and basketball in general, rest in peace.

The season is over for the Trojans but in Division IV Nye County had the Beatty boys, the Tonopah girls and the Round Mountain girls in the playoffs. With the exception of the first round the teams will play the regional games in Las Vegas at either Chaparral or Spring Valley high schools.

The Beatty boys lost a disappointing game to Beaver Dam last night 42-56 so they are out. The Hornets fell behind early and couldn’t recover. At the half the score was 34-21. In the third quarter, the team was able to hold the Diamondbacks to just nine points, but Beatty only scored 10 and weren’t able to recover from the first half.

The Tonopah girls also lost to Lund 30-42 so they are out too. Round Mountain is the only remaining Nye County school in the playoffs.

One of the biggest rivalries in the area is between Tonopah and Beatty. Every year the two old mining towns clash in several sports. In the fall there is volleyball and football. In the winter there is basketball and in the spring there is baseball and track, in heated games. Did we grow up t0o fast? Perhaps, in basketball we did. The year 2008 was not too long ago.

At one time, not too long ago Pahrump was rival of Beatty and we regularly played the Hornets. We lost something in all our sports when we stopped playing the smaller schools. We seem to lack the talent that Las Vegas has in basketball and this really hurts us in this sport because it is a sport which requires some height. Is Pahrump height challenged? I don’t know about this town. I mean in Pahrump it’s rare to walk down the street and to see a seven-foot, 300-pound kid walking around in Walmart. I guess if those kinds of kids were around we would be champs in football and basketball.

Is the game all height? No, look at our team. We had some shooters. Uriel Ramberg-Wiley could shoot. The Parker Hart kid could shoot. Remember the Brett Kunzi kid? He could shoot. Shooting was not a problem, but getting big kids to rebound, well that is.

Getting back to Division IV basketball, some of the most spirited games that I have ever seen have come from these two schools. One of the reasons the games are so fun to watch has to do with the amount of preparation and hard work the coaches put into the contests.

The coaches have a vested interest in the schools they serve. For example, Beatty had a basketball coach, Joe Serrano, who played for the school and grew up there. The current coach, Steve Sullivan is another example. He too is homegrown and played basketball and track. Of course, the schools in Nye County really try to keep their coaches and it’s hard. The coaches are not paid well and when you coach in this county this means it’s a long drive to all the games.

We get that now and then here in Pahrump. The new track coach is Wes Icard, and then there is Mike Colucci, both home grown coaches.

The team to watch in Division IV basketball is Spring Mountain. For the last three years they have been going up against Pahranagat Valley. Pahranagat Valley won state in 2013 but failed to repeat. Last year they made it to state, but couldn’t take the title. Look for the Golden Eagles to go all the way this year.

The level of competition is high this year in this division. Pahranagat Valley is not dominating like they have in the past.

Adelson too has made a name for itself, improving each year. Both are capable of defeating Spring Mountain. This of course is what makes Division IV so exciting. It seems to be a change in the guard after years of being dominated by Pahranagat Valley, who had four state basketball titles in row up to 2013.

On another rant, I had some calls about the officiating at the Division IV level in basketball. Really this is not new. Beatty has been complaining about the home officials for some time. The problem is whenever Beatty travels they get officials from the hometown officiating.

The other part of the problem is that even when Beatty is at home they get officials from Tonopah coming into Beatty. There just aren’t enough officials in Central Nevada to go around and the town of Beatty has no officials of its own. Maybe this will change.

What is the solution? Beatty will just have to put up with the officiating and hope the hometown officials can be more honest.

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