Laker girls primed for playoffs
The North Tahoe girls basketball team treated Friday’s regular-season finale like a single-elimination playoff contest. That meant bad things for visiting Hawthorne (Mineral County).
The Lakers outscored the Serpents 35-7 in the second half and 20-0 in the fourth quarter en route to a 54-23 Northern 2A win on senior’s night.
“The bottom line is that we treated it like a playoff game,” said North Tahoe coach Scott Conn, adding that his players answered his call to step up despite half the roster being sick. “I wanted to go in and get a leg up and get into the playoff mode this week.”
Entering the postseason as the third seed, North Tahoe (6-4 league, 12-11 overall) will face second-seeded Lovelock at Winnemucca on Friday. If the Lakers win, they go straight to the state tournament.
After watching his team dismantle the Serpents (1-8, 4-18) to complete a 9-3 second half of the season, Conn has more confidence than ever in the group.
“This was the breakout game I’ve been looking for,” the coach said. “The kids responded, despite not feeling well.”
Conn also credited the Lakers’ difficult schedule to start the season for the team’s success of late.
“Those tough lessons at the beginning of the season has really had a positive impact,” he said. “I think we just might be peaking at the right moment.”
The Lakers were in peak form Friday night, with seven players scoring in the game.
Junior Sydney Courcier led the offense with 10 points, while four players ” Kelly Hester, Brit Johnson, Elly Roemer and Kacie Conn ” each chipped in eight points. Roemer also had 12 rebounds and five blocks, and Kacie Conn grabbed 10 rebounds.
Hawthorne hung tough in the opening half by nearly matching the Lakers, who took a 19-16 lead into the break. North Tahoe then ran away with the momentum the final two quarters.
“The shots just weren’t dropping for (the Serpents), and there was also an awful lot of good defense on our part,” coach Conn said.
The third-seeded Lakers play Lovelock, the No. 2 seed, in the opening round of the postseason in Winnemucca on Friday. Tip-off is 3 p.m.