Stephen R. Sylvanie / Special to the Home News
Saturday, Feb. 28, 2009 | 6:11 p.m.
Two years ago Lake Mead Christian Academy's Landon Littlefield had to watch Trinity celebrate a state championship after a victory over the Eagles. He wanted to make sure that never happened again.
"I still have the picture from when we lost on my mirror," Littlefield said. "I wake up every morning and look at it, and it makes we want to work harder."
The motivation paid off for Littlefield as he helped Lake Mead win its second consecutive 1A state championship with a 59-49 victory over Pahranagat Valley Saturday at the Orleans Arena.
"You can't describe it," he said. "Especially after losing the first one, it feels great."
Just like he has done for much of the season, Littlefield carried the Eagles offense, finishing with a game high 24 points on 9-22 shooting. He knocked down four 3-pointers and kept the Eagles in front by a healthy margin, as they never trailed and never let Pahranagat Valley get closer than nine points in the second half.
Lake Mead played the game with a calm demeanor, and every time the Panthers would start to go on a run, the Eagles would respond with a defensive stop. With five seniors and the experience of winning the state title last year, Lake Mead had the makeup of a champion.
"Experience breeds success," Lake Mead head coach Jeff Newton said. "Our kids are a little tougher minded. Getting there and completing it certainly sure helps, and it takes a little ease of it."
As it has done all year, Lake Mead controlled the game Saturday with tough defense. The Eagles gave up an average of just 28 points per game against league foes this season, and Saturday they stifled the Panthers offense. Lake Mead held Pahranagat Valley to three points in the first quarter and kept up the intensity throughout the contest.
"I told them you could win this game if you come out and pay defense," Newton said
The state championship was the third game between these two teams this season, and Pahranagat Valle played the Eagles closer Saturday then they had all season. Lake Mead beat the Panthers by 25 and 22 points in games earlier this year.
In the final meeting between the two schools, each team played physical, fighting for rebounds and loose balls, and hitting each other with hard fouls.
"They are really physical," Littlefield said. "But I thought we matched their offensive intensity. Both teams played hard."
In their final high school games, Lake Mead's Alex Mayorga scored 10 points, Demetrius Turner had eight points with 11 rebounds and Jeff Newton, the coach's son, added nine points. Junior De'Quan Thompson scored eight points.
Cody Hosier led the Panthers with 15 points.
With two straight state titles to their name, the Eagles don't have any plans of settling for less next season. Lake Mead loses five seniors, but returns Littlefield and Thompson, and is already thinking about a three-peat.
"We're creating a powerhouse, but we're just going to keep coming back and keep working," Littlefield said. "We want it next year too."
True to its namesake, The Orleans gives visitors a year-round Mardi Gras feeling with a New Orleans French Quarter environment.
Located just a short way from the center of gambling on the Strip, The Orleans offers a collection of attractions that helps to draw in a mix of locals and visitors.
In addition to the 1,885 hotel rooms and 134,000-square foot casino, the property has a 70-lane bowling center, an 18-screen movie theater, an 850-seat showroom and a 9,500-seat arena, home to the Las Vegas Wranglers hockey team.
The hotel also has 14 dining options, including Canal Street, The Prime Rib Loft, Koji Sushi Bar & China Bistro and Big Al’s Oyster Bar.
Garrett Downing can be reached at [email protected] or 948-7803