Dave Maxwell:
Shayla Leavitt fights for a rebound in a recent game. Pahranagat girls host Beatty in a battle for the league lead this Saturday.

It will be a meeting of the league leaders and a battle for first place in the girls 1A Southern Saturday night in Alamo when the Lady Panthers (11-7, 4-0) take on the visiting Beatty Hornets (10-4, 4-0). All of that of course, depending on whether PVHS wins at Tonopah on Friday night.

Fourth place Tonopah (6-8, 3-2) already has a league loss to Beatty two weeks ago, but the Hornets still have to play at defending league champion Round Mountain next week in Beatty. In their history, Round Mountain is 10-7 against Beatty since 2007 and has won the last five meetings after having lost seven in a row.

Therefore, this weekend will be key for the Lady Panthers, who coach Amy Huntsman said are “playing like a team now, starting to move the ball pretty well.”

In Alamo Saturday night, the Panthers defeated the Mountain View Saints 53-31. Madalyn Taylor led the Alamo girls with 13 points, as all of the Panthers got into the scoring column.

Emma Atanasova had 13 points for Mountain View (5-16).

On Friday at Sandy Valley, the Panthers stormed to a 30-4 halftime lead before downing the Sidewinders 53-13. After taking the big lead in the first half, Huntsman said, “We just went into a zone for the rest of the game.”

The game with Beatty this week will be “a tough one,” she said. “They are tough and scrappy. They’ll try and press us, so we’ll have to be ready for all that.”

Both the games with the Hornets last year were close ones, including the regional semifinal, which the Lady Panthers won 39-37 as the girls had to hold off a furious rally by the Hornets in the fourth quarter. Beatty closed to within 38-37 with 40 seconds left.

In the 1A Northern league, Eureka, Owyhee, McDermitt and Sierra Lutheran are the main contenders.

On Tuesday this next week, the Lady Panthers host the White Pine Bobcats, the two-time defending 2A state champions. The Bobcats are currently 15-6 and second place in the 2A Northern league. Against Pahranagat Valley, they hold a 9-3 edge since 2007 and have won the last four meetings, including a 40-9 romp last year.