Exciting year for local prep sports teams

The high school sports year ended in thrilling ways for the Pahranagat Valley and Lincoln County boys baseball teams and the Pahranagat Valley girls softball team.

Just a week before graduation, both boys baseball teams repeated as state champions and the Lady Panthers won a fifth consecutive state title, establishing a new state record for consecutive softball championships in any classification.

Congratulation to all the players, coaches and fans.

The Lincoln girls softball team (25-11) had a fine season, taking it right to the end before coming up a bit short. Earning a split with Needles in league play, placing second to eventual state champion Needles in the Southern regional tournament, but still claiming their 12th consecutive appearance in the state tournament.

At state however, the Lady Lynx lost two of three to the Mustangs to take the runner-up spot, but extended them to a deciding game on the final day.

Great post season honors for the baseball teams. Lincoln’s Cody Thornock and Hunter Wilkin were named as NevadaPreps 2A State Co Players of the Year as was Raymond Wadsworth Coach of the Year for the second straight time. It was the second consecutive year for a Lincoln player to be chosen 2A State Player of the Year. McClain O’Connor, now at UC Santa Barbara, won it in 2016.

The Lynx (25-3) dominated the 2A Southern League, going 14-0, then swept both the regional and state tournaments. It was the first back-to-back state titles for the Lynx since 1992 and 1993.

The Pahranagat Valley boys (22-8) also won a second straight title. The Panthers lost the regular season league title to a strong, revamped Indian Springs team, but rebounded to beat the Thunderbirds twice in Indian Springs for the Southern division title, and swept the state tournament, including beating Indian Springs twice there as well.

The Pahranagat Valley girls (30-5) parlayed strong pitching, hitting and stellar defense into a sweep of the league and regional titles. But they faced the same road against the same team, to win the championship this year as they did last year.

Losing to Northern champ Wells in the second round, they had to win an elimination game, then beat Wells twice to claim the title. And so they did handily, earning a record fifth straight state championship.

In track, Lincoln County won their first 2A state championship since 1991, actually claiming a co-championship with White Pine County as both had 130 points. Landen Smith won four events for Lincoln, the 100, 200, 400 and 300m hurdles, and Ben Wadsworth won the Long Jump (20-05½).

The Lincoln girls were seventh in the team standings with 49 points. Brook Hafen claimed the championship in the High Jump (5-0).

In basketball, the Pahranagat boys (26-3), lost the regular season title to Spring Mountain, but beat the Eagles for the regional championship, advanced to the state championship finals, but lost to a dominant Mineral County team.

The PVHS girls (17-9), won the league and regional championship, but got beat by eventual champion Owyhee in the state semifinals.

Lincoln boys basketball suffered through a difficult year, 4-17, and did not make the playoffs.

The Lincoln girls (17-11), finished third in the league, making the playoffs, but lost to Needles in the regional semi-finals.

Wrestling was good for both Lincoln and Pahranagat. The Lynx were seventh at the state meet in the team standings with 61.5 points, and the Panthers finished 10th with 40 points. Zach Rowe won the 132-pound title for Lincoln. Ben Culverwell (106) was second for Lincoln. Reece Thornton (170) placed second for Pahranagat Valley.

In volleyball, Pahranagat Valley (23-6) won a record 18th state championship and number 17 for legendary coach Ginger Whipple since 1985. The Lady Panthers have been in the state championship game a record 21 years in a row, winning 17 times.

Lincoln County volleyball also made the playoffs again this year, but lost out in the first round of the Southern regionals.

Football was the major headline maker for the county during the school year, as the Pahranagat Valley Panthers (11-1) established a new national record for 8-man teams with 104 straight wins, third on the all-time national high school list, and the first 8-man team to ever win 100 games in a row.

Lincoln County Lynx football (9-1) won the 2A Southern League, but lost to defending state champion Yerington in the state semi-finals.

Pahranagat Valley’s mark of 104 straight caught national news attention several times. They had eight full undefeated seasons, almost nine, before just getting outplayed by league rival Spring Mountain in the 2016 finals. It was the fourth time in five years the teams had played in the championship and Spring Mountain’s first win over PVHS since at least 2005.

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