NorthTahoe girls hoops defeat Sparks | SierraSun.com

NorthTahoe girls hoops defeat Sparks

Alex Close
Sierra Sun

Alex Close/Sierra SunBridgette Kimmey moves the ball up the court for North Tahoe against Sparks on Saturday night.

North Tahoe’s girls basketball team got a much-needed win Friday night against the visiting Sparks Railroaders.

The Lakers (1-6) made fairly easy work of Sparks (0-7) with a 59-41 win over the last-place Northern 3A team to keep their own head above water heading into the final half of the season.

“We really needed that,” head Laker coach Scott Conn said after the game.

The Lakers never let Sparks into the game Friday night.

By the close of the first quarter, North Tahoe was up 11-4, and by the end of the first half the Lakers had increased that lead to 17 points.

While the Railroaders posed no serious threats, North Tahoe capitalized on the countless Sparks mistakes and made those opportunities matter with points on the board.

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In the third quarter, North Tahoe increased its lead to 18 points, where the spread would remain through the final buzzer.

Not only was North Tahoe constantly taking the ball off of Sparks, but the Lakers also managed to keep the basketball when they had it ” something that was lacking earlier in the week against Yerington.

“We did a much better job of not throwing the ball away,” Conn said.

Conn also said he was particularly pleased with his three starting guards, who posted 40 points between the three of them.

Leading the way was sophomore Brit Johnson, who posted a team-high 18 points. Both Kelly Hester and Bridgette Kimmey tallied 11. Senior Joelle Lazzareschi, who was just as tenacious as ever on the court, put up 10 points.

“It was a really nice effort from the starting five,” Conn said.

That effort was not confined to the offensive side, either.

“I was extremely pleased with our defensive play,” Conn said. “And our press has really come alive.”

If there was a weak spot in the Laker game Friday night, it was free throws, something North Tahoe has continued to struggle with.

Conn said his girls are working on it, and that no one is allowed to leave practice each day without making 100 shots from the line.

Despite the effort to achieve Conn’s goal of 70-percent from the line, North Tahoe went 16-for-27 Friday night.

After playing each team in the division once, North Tahoe now faces No. 2 Lowry (6-1) on Friday at 6 p.m. on Dollar Hill. The Lakers then face No. 1 Spring Creek (7-0) the following day at 2 p.m.

With the two toughest games of the remainder of the season on his doorstep, Conn remains optimistic.

“The trick is to carry this momentum through the second half of league and see what they can do,” Conn said.

Notes: North Tahoe’s junior varsity girls team beat Sparks 34-15, with Shannon Stack leading the way with 12 points and Chelsea Patrick following closely with 10.