Laker girls heating up |

Laker girls heating up

Two weeks of winning basketball and the Lakers are right back in the playoff mix.

The North Tahoe girls have won four straight games ” three in league ” and five of their last six to improve to 8-9 overall and 3-2 in the Northern 2A.

“The fun thing for us is that, I don’t think the kids have realized their potential yet,” said Scott Conn, head coach of the Lakers. “We just need to get incrementally better game by game, and hopefully we’ll be ready for playoffs.”

The Lakers were in postseason form on their home court Saturday, as North Tahoe stunned previously undefeated Mineral County (Lovelock) 49-43. Before that, North Tahoe routed league opponent Silver Stage in consecutive games, winning 48-19 this past Wednesday and 47-19 on Friday.

But it was Saturday’s win over the league-leading Mustangs that impressed Conn most.

“Pershing County is a very good team ” well coached. But we had had such a good week that I just had a feeling that coming into our place, with the way we were playing defense, we had an opportunity to take one away from them,” he said.

The Lakers pulled off the feat by way of swarming defensive pressure ” especially from Kelly Hester, Kacie Conn, Shannon Stack and Shelby Adams ” and an effective offense fueled by huge performances from Brit Johnson and Sydney Courcier. Johnson finished with a game-high 23 points, while Courcier contributed 20 points.

“It was an exciting game from start to finish, back and forth,” Scott Conn said. “It was hard-fought, but was a very clean battle. Both teams had their share of fouls, but they weren’t stupid fouls.”

Entering the second quarter tied 10-10, North Tahoe took a slight lead before the half and never looked back, managing to hold off a persistent Lovelock team that tied the score on several occasions.

“It was a really tight game, but we took a small lead in the second quarter and never let go of it,” Conn said.

Against Silver Stage, Hester, a junior point guard and the Lakers’ leading scorer on the season, provided a spark on both ends of the floor. On Wednesday she finished with 23 points, going 11-for-11 at the free throw line. On Friday Hester and Stack each had 14 points while Johnson chipped in 10 points.

“We’re focusing on getting our defense where it needs to be to make a championship run,” Conn said. “And our offense is coming along.”

The Lakers play at Whittell on Tuesday. Girls tip off at 6 p.m. and the boys at 7:30 p.m.

North Tahoe’s boys were not as fortunate as the girls, as the Lakers dropped three league games in the past week, falling to 0-8 in the Northern 2A.

The Lakers lost 74-52 to Mineral County on Saturday. Before that, Silver Stage defeated the Lakers 66-48 on Wednesday and then again 61-48 on Friday.

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