North Tahoe basketball: Laker girls return from California tournament |

North Tahoe basketball: Laker girls return from California tournament

Sun Staff reports

By the time Northern 2A league play rolls around on Jan. 2, Scott Conn’s Lakers will have faced some fine basketball programs.

Less than a week after competing in the stacked Marin Academy Tournament in the Bay Area, the Lakers took on an equal challenge in the Trojan Classic Tournament in Durham, Calif., just south of Chico.

Although North Tahoe finished 0-3 in the tourney, Conn said the team showed signs of life after dropping its opener to host Durham, 65-33, on Thursday. The Lakers played competitively their next two games, Conn said, especially after shaking their first-half jitters.

“So far this year we’ve been a fairly slow-starting team,” Conn said. “In the second half we seem to outhustle and outplay everyone. But by that time it’s too late.”

Despite strong second-half efforts, North Tahoe lost its second game of the tourney 66-56 to Lower Lake on Friday and lost its final game 66-49 to Orland on Saturday.

As she did in Marin County the week prior, Lakers senior guard Kelly Hester caught the eyes of opposing coaches, who voted her to the All-Tournament team.

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Hester had a particularly strong game against Lower Lake, scoring 22 points, 18 of which came in the second half.

“She was voted to the All-Tournament team despite us not winning a game,” Conn said. “I see that as a tremendous (achievement).”

North Tahoe senior forward Shannon Stack also had a huge tournament, finishing with 12 points against Lower Lake before exploding for 25 points against Orland.

“She really dominated; she scored 11 of her 25 in the fourth quarter,” Conn said. “She found her zone. Every time we got her the ball she was able to do something.”

The Lakers are now 2-6 overall, with both wins coming against Loyalton. So far North Tahoe has played only against California schools.