1984-85 Lady Highlanders selected for Incline hall of fame
The 1984-85 basketball season was perhaps the greatest in Incline school history.
An upstart group of girls entered the postseason the year before and lost to heavy favorites and longtime rivals Elko. A year later, much of that team returned and outpaced their opponents with up-tempo basketball, pressure defense, and a state title or bust attitude.
“The most important thing about teams and winning, is having a group of girls with a like-minded goal, who all get along,” said Annie Schlegelmilch-Turner, who was first team all-state as a sophomore for Incline that season. “That was really the best part of our season. We had a goal and that was to win a state championship, and we worked together in every way as a team.”
The girls outplayed their opponents to the tune of a 21-3 record, blowing out most of their competition with pressure defense leading to easy baskets on the other end. The team went on to capture the program’s first state title since 1977 after a 44-33 win over Yerington in the championship game.
“What made us great is that we were a true team. Nobody was worried about points they scored or the assists they had … it was about winning,” Schlegelmilch-Turner said. “That was the best part about ’85 and that’s why I think you are seeing us all inducted into the hall of fame, because it was a special team who achieved a really difficult goal … that’s why you see us all inducted as a team.”
Led by sophomore 2A state player of the year Laura Baker, Schlegelmilch-Turner, senior second team all-state player Regina Ossolinski, and senior honorable mention all-state player Laura Lohse, Incline put together one of the strongest seasons in program history.
The Highlanders girls’ basketball program wouldn’t win another state title until 2014.
On Saturday, Jan. 20, the 1984-85 Highlanders girls’ basketball team will be immortalized into the school’s hall of fame during the fourth annual Incline High School Hall of Fame induction and dinner.
“They were tall and quick and played very hard. They were skilled and athletic,” said current boys’ Head Coach Tim Kelly. “They also won the volleyball state title that year. They had all those tools, and then they had the best backcourt in IHS history with Laura and Annie.”
Kelly called Baker the best player to ever grace the hardwood at Incline. She averaged 29.9 points per game as a sophomore during the 1984-85 season, and dropped 60 in a game against North Tahoe, which remains a Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association Class 2A record. Baker also had a 52-point performance that season against Truckee. She transferred to Reno high for her junior and senior years. The Reno girls won state championships in 1986 and 1987.
“She was so much fun to play with because she was more athletic than any girl at that time — even if you put her out there right now,” Schlegelmilch-Turner said. “She was easy to play with because when you got her the ball, she knew what to do with it.”
The squad’s other top player, Schlegelmilch-Turner, averaged 8.2 points per game that season, and finished her career at Incline as a four-time all-state player.
The 1984-85 Incline Highlanders will be inducted into the school’s hall of fame on Saturday night, Jan. 20. The current Highlanders will be in action the day before with a pair of big, league games against rivals Battle Mountain. Tipoff begins at 6 p.m. with the boys’ game, followed by the girls’ contest.