Laker girls shot down by state champs
The North Tahoe girls basketball team received a stiff welcome to a new neighborhood Friday, as defending 2A champion Battle Mountain dealt the host Lakers a 61-48 loss in their league opener.
The Lakers (0-1 league, 3-8 overall) showed promise after the tip-off, with their potent offense getting on the board quickly and their defense, led by guard Kacie Conn, stifling the Longhorns’ leading scorer, Jordan Waugh.
Conn would not be a factor for long, however, as an ankle sprain late in the first quarter took her out for the remainder of the game. When the quarter ended, the Lakers led 12-5.
Battle Mountain came alive to start the second quarter, as Waugh made Laker head coach Scott Conn change his strategy.
“In the first quarter Kacie Conn did a fantastic job shutting down Waugh,” the coach said. “When we lost Kacie we had to readjust, and they took advantage of that.”
Shooting well from the outside and converting several three-point plays, the Longhorns drastically turned the table on North Tahoe during the quarter. The game went to half at 26-16, Longhorns.
Starting the second half, Battle Mountain’s physical and aggressive offense did not let up. In the first 45 seconds, the Longhorns racked up five points, including a 3-pointer.
Despite the early onslaught, North Tahoe did not back down, and the Lakers started a rally of their own. With three minutes left in the quarter, the Lakers had brought it back to a five-point game, 33-28.
The North Tahoe attack proved to be short-lived, though, as rally leader Kelly Hester fouled out late in the third quarter.
Starting the fourth down two starters, coach Conn looked to the reserves to keep them in the game. Every Laker player called to the floor played hard.
“The girls really kept battling despite being down,” coach Conn said. “We brought it back with our bench players. I am very pleased with the performance of the bench.”
Tenacious Laker play right to the final whistle wasn’t quite enough this round, as Battle Mountain closed out the game.
Laker guard Brit Johnson was North Tahoe’s top scorer with 13 points.
“We started off our league with the absolute best,” coach Conn said about Battle Mountain. “For our first league game we put together a decent showing, but one that can surely be improved upon.”
The Lakers host Silver Stage on Monday at 6 p.m.
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