Vaqueros open 1-2 in Lake Mead tournament

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Robert Perea, The Fernley Reporter

The bottom line says the Fernley High School boys basketball team won one game and lost two in this weekend’s Lake Mead Holiday Classic.

But the bottom line that matters most will be the one tallied up in February, and for coach Derek Miller, the hope is that this weekend’s trip to Las Vegas helps add more black that red to that bottom line.

The Vaqueros lost their first game, 58-50, to Moapa Valley last Thursday, then beat Calvary Chapel 48-39 Friday. Saturday they finished the tournament with a 56-49 loss to American Prep.

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“We improved, and that’s the point of going down there,” Miller said. “Of course I’d always like to win more games, but I’ve been doing this long enough to know it’s a process.”

In Thursday’s game, the Vaqueros got off to a slow start and fell behind by as much as 20 points. They rallied to within four points and had at least two chances to get even closer, before Moapa Valley put the game away from the foul line.

“The first half we started pretty slow and it looked like a first game,” Miller said. “The second half, we picked it up and started to execute s little better. But we missed 12 free throws, so that would have made a big difference.”

Rei Robinett led the Vaqueros with 18 points, while Drew Miller scored 13.

The Vaqueros again got off to a slow start Friday against Calvary Chapel, trailing by double figures in the first half. Calvary Chapel initially stymied the Vaqueros with a zone defense, which the Vaqueros hadn’t yet seen, but the Vaqueros used their own defense to spur the comeback.

“We just continued to play defense, and we got aggressive and started to execute,” Miller said.

Drew Miller led the Vaqueros with 14 points, while Isaac O’Neill added 11.

Saturday, the Vaqueros led much of the way against American Prep, a new school with plans to eventually join the 3A.

“They had a 6-8 center who was pretty gifted, and we had some issues with the press,” Miller said. “I told the boys we won’t see anybody in our league like that.”

Drew Miller sat out most of the third quarter with foul trouble, and fouled out in the fourth, as American Prep dominated inside.

“Overall, I was really happy with how we played,” Miller said. “They would be toward the top of our league if they were here.”

Robinett led the Vaqueros with 15 points, all in the first half.

In all, Miller said he was pleased with the weekend.

“We’re young, and all of the teams we played were pretty big,” he said. “A lot of our kids besides Drew and (Robinett) don’t have a lot of experience.”

The Vaqueros now get four days this week to prepare for the beginning of league play, Friday at 7:30 p.m. at South Tahoe. The game was originally scheduled for the second week of Christmas break, but was moved to this week because the Fernley girls team will be playing in a tournament in Las Vegas that week.

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