Lady Highlanders take 46-37 win over Vikings | SierraSun.com

Lady Highlanders take 46-37 win over Vikings

The Class 2A Incline girls' basketball team sent the Class 3A Vikings of South Tahoe back across the lake empty handed on Tuesday, Dec. 5, taking a 46-37 victory to improve to 2-0 on the year, and in doing so, staked their claim as the best team on Lake Tahoe.

"South Tahoe played really hard, they were bigger than us, we were outsized, they were very physical, and I have young inexperienced team, but they stuck it out," said Head Coach Indra Winquest. "Defensively, we really defended the 3-point line well, and made them try to attack the rim."

Incline would lead wire-to-wire, and at times pushed their advantage into double digits as they kept the Vikings just out of reach over the duration of the contest.

Over the final four minutes, junior standout Taylor Redfern salted the game away with steady ball handling and clutch free throws.

"Taylor was awesome the last four minutes of the game handling the ball," Winquest said. "We knew that they were going to foul, and she hit some big free throws at the end of the game. She showed a lot of leadership and poise."

Before the season Redfern stated it's her goal to break the Class 2A record for most 3-pointers in a season, and so far she is off to a blistering start with nine triples already on the year.

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Against South Tahoe, Redfern went 4 of 11 from downtown, scored a team high 20 points, blocked four shots, and grabbed five rebounds.

Sophomore Sammi Giongreco had a big game as well for the Highlanders, filling up the stat sheet with five rebounds (four offensive), seven steals, and 16 points on 7 of 9 shooting.

"Sammi Giongreco, my sophomore guard, was outstanding," Winquest said. "She hit two big 3s … she was flying all over the court on defense."

Sophomore Madison Corneil also put together a solid performance with five rebounds and four steals. Senior captain Haeden Suter was highlighted by Winquest for her strong defensive performance.

Though his team picked up the victory, Winquest wasn't completely satisfied with the Highlanders' performance.

"We missed some layups, we had a lot of opportunities to score the basketball," he said. "We were just a little bit rusty, and I think we needed that game to get the rust off and identify some of the things we need to improve on … overall, not our best effort, we know we can be better, but we still got a good win."

Incline will get another test at Class 3A when the girls open the Whittell Tournament on Thursday, Dec. 7, against Truckee.

The game will mark the first time in Winquest's five years of coaching at Incline that the two schools will matchup. A win would also give the Highlanders two victories over Truckee-Tahoe area teams, giving the Incline girls a strong claim to the title of best team on the lake. The Wolverines opened the year with a 64-31 win over Sparks on Tuesday, Dec. 5.

"When we play a team like Truckee, we consider that a lake team," Winquest said. "We're always trying to show everyone that we're the best team on the lake."

Staff writer Justin Scacco can be reached at 530-550-2643 or via email at jscacco@sierrasun.com