North Tahoe basketball: Boys edged in overtime by Portola | SierraSun.com

North Tahoe basketball: Boys edged in overtime by Portola

Sylas Wright
Sierra Sun

DOLLAR HILL and#8212; Led by a 26-point effort from Brett Roberts and a 23-point game from Mitchell Conn, the Laker boys posted their highest scoring output of the season in a 69-64 overtime loss to Portola on Monday.

and#8220;It’s the best we’ve played yet,and#8221; said North Tahoe head coach Mike Williams. and#8220;We should have beat them. It could have gone either way. But I’m happy with the guys’ effort.and#8221;

The game was evenly played after North Tahoe (3-10) stormed back from a slow start, as Portola (8-8) took a one-point lead into the half and the Lakers opened the fourth quarter up by four. Lakers senior Andrew Auerbach made a layup with about 10 seconds left in regulation to give his team a 59-57 lead, but the Tigers answered with a basket on the other end to send the game into extra minutes.

Junior forward Matt Walther contributed seven points for the Lakers in the close loss, while Kyle Haskett led Portola with 19 points.

Both teams got into early foul trouble in what was a physically played contest from start to finish, with three North Tahoe players fouling out and two finishing with four fouls. Conn picked up his fourth foul shortly after halftime, yet managed to play the rest of the second half effectively and without fouling out.

Conn and#8212; who went to the free-throw line all night, making a high percentage and#8212; also held the Tigers’ leading scorer in check while forcing him to foul out late in the game.

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Roberts was lights out from behind the 3-point arc, as the junior shooting guard made five 3-pointers en route to his game-high.

Williams said he was particularly pleased with how the Lakers limited turnovers on the offensive end and pestered Portola with hounding pressure on defense.

and#8220;We took better care of the ball and cut down on our turnovers,and#8221; he said. and#8220;We also played more active on defense, and we were able to get more shots we wanted.and#8221;

North Tahoe played Battle Mountain tough through three quarters Saturday before the Longhorns pulled away in the fourth for a 65-49 win.

Walther led the Lakers with 17 points in the league game.

North Tahoe took a one-point lead in the second half and trailed by only four points entering the fourth quarter. But the Longhorns made 11 of 15 free throws in the final quarter to thwart any comeback attempt.

Although the Lakers are winless in league play, at 0-7, they can earn the Northern 2A’s fifth and final playoff seed with a pair of wins against Whittell and#8212; the only team in league they have yet to play and#8212; and possibly one additional league win in five remaining games.

The first contest against Whittell was postponed due to weather. The Lakers will end the season with back-to-back games against Whittell on Feb. 10 and 12.