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Local teams deal with sitting on sidelines during postseason
by Aaron Retherford
Feb 15, 2010 | 505 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Three years ago marked the first time the Reed and Spanish Springs boys basketball teams qualified for the postseason in the same year.

This season both squads will be spectators after finishing out of the playoff hunt.

At 4-8 in the High Desert League, the Cougars finished in a tie for fifth place with Elko after dropping their final three league matchups, including their season finale with the Raiders.

Even with Saturday's triumph over its cross-town rivals, Reed only managed a 3-9 mark in league play and finished in the basement of the standings.

Still, not all was lost for the programs.

In just his second year on the sidelines as a head varsity coach, Reed's Dustin Hall said he'll take a lot away from his team's 4-16 season.

"Last year I learned a lot. This year I learned a lot more," Hall said. "Last year all the close games we seemed to win and you kind of start to think it's easier than what it is. This year was kind of a reality check, and I learned more this year than any other season as an assistant or a head coach. I've got a long ways to go until I become the coach that I want to be."

While Spanish Springs has not had a long string of a playoff appearances like Reed - the Raiders last missed the playoffs in 2000-01 - coach Kyle Penney was 2-for-2 during his short stint as varsity head coach at the school.

"It's hard. We prepared like crazy for last night's game against McQueen. We just lost to a better team last night," Penney said after the Cougars' season-ending loss to Reed. "It was emotionally draining. I don't know how Elko does it every week, to play back-to-back, especially with the situation we were in. If we win last night, that puts us in a position to be a three seed if we win today. So that was emotionally draining, and I know by watching our body language and the way we played today, we were still singing the blues from that."

Currently, eight Northern 4A schools aren't singing the blues. Bishop Manogue went undefeated in the Sierra League and will host No. 4 seed North Valleys, the lone team from either side with a losing record in league play. Reno won the High Desert League and will try to protect its home court from an upset bid by fourth-seeded Galena.

The winner of No. 3 McQueen versus No. 2 Douglas will face the Reno-Galena winner, while the No. 3 Carson-No. 2 Hug winner gets either Manogue or North Valleys in the semifinals.

The higher seeds host the quarterfinal matchups tonight at 7 p.m. The semifinals and finals will be held Thursday and Saturday at Spanish Springs. The two regional championship teams qualify for state.

So while the Raiders and Cougars will get to watch these teams continue their seasons, they are already considering ways to avoid starting a playoff drought streak.

"I think we need to push our summer program a little bit more," Hall said. "We had a decent summer program. We did some weights, but it has almost become a year-round thing. A lot of these schools are in the gym 11 months of the year. We can't be in the gym three or four months and expect to compete. Our offseason program has to become much more consistent and a lot stronger."
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