Lakers derailed at home |

Lakers derailed at home

Seth Lightcap/Sierra SunNorth Tahoe guard Sydney Courcier goes up for two of her 19 points in a home game against Sparks on Tuesday. The Sparks Railroaders beat the North Tahoe Lakers 60-51.

Sometimes the stars just don’t align.

For the North Tahoe girls basketball team, Tuesday’s nonleague game against Sparks was one of those not-so-stellar nights.

Though the Lakers played hard, the Railroaders’ tenacious defense and solid outside shooting led them to a 60-51 victory over North Tahoe.

The first half of the game was evenly matched. North Tahoe set up well-coordinated offensive plays while Sparks answered with consistent outside shots. Midway through the first quarter, Sparks turned on a tough full-court press, forcing several Laker turnovers ” a sign of things to come. The game went to the half with Sparks up 20-19.

The third quarter marked the beginning of Sparks’ winning drive. Dominating play with stifling defense and textbook perimeter passing, the Railroaders stole Laker inbound passes, snagged offensive rebounds and generally threw off the North Tahoe scoring machine.

Only Laker guard Sydney Courcier kept her shot steady, contributing 19 points.

Late-quarter free throws by North Tahoe pulled the game back within four to finish the third behind 38-34.

The fourth quarter was much like the third ” Sparks pressed hard while the Lakers forced plays. The Railroaders’ full-court attack resulted in North Tahoe turnovers and easy layups for Sparks.

Frustrated but still fighting for the win, three North Tahoe players fouled out in the fourth quarter.

North Tahoe head coach Scott Conn gave credit where it was due.

“My hat’s off to Sparks,” Conn said. “They played well and deserved the win.”

Despite the loss to the Northern 3A opponent, the Lakers took it as a learning experience, Conn said.

“Rebounding continues to be a weak spot for us,” he said. “We’ll be working hard on improving.”

Offensively, Conn felt they had played a good game but just didn’t execute.

“We had a lot of opportunities to pull ahead but the shots didn’t fall,” Conn said. “It’s difficult to score 50 points and still walk out with a loss.”

The loss dropped the Lakers to 2-6 on the season.

The Lakers host Incline on Tuesday at 6 p.m.

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