Incline basketball | Boys lighting up scoreboard | SierraSun.com

Incline basketball | Boys lighting up scoreboard

Staff report
Incline senior Tommy Thompson scored 29 points in the Highlanders' win over Bishop in the Whittell Tournament last week. Incline swept through the tournament before defeating Portola 100-58 on Monday.
Sylas Wright / Sierra Sun |

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The Highlanders will open Northern Division III league play on the road this week, as they travel to West Wendover on Friday and Battle Mountain on Friday before heading into the Christmas break.

The Incline boys confirmed that they can put points on the board.

The Highlanders, who are off to a 7-1 start, swept their four games in the Whittell Tournament before thumping visiting Portola 100-58 on Monday.

After opening the Whittell Tournament last week with a 67-64 win over the host Warriors, Incline went on to defeat Owyhee, 92-71, Bishop, 99-74, and Loyalton, 86-47. Senior guards Alex Zissis and Tommy Thompson were named to the all-tournament team.

Counting the Portola win, the Highlanders averaged more than 94 points over their last four games, with 55 made 3-pointers.

“That ended nonconference play and what we called, ‘the month of us.’ We weren’t concerned about our opponents, we just focused on ourselves,” said Incline coach Tim Kelly, who added that these Highlanders are the first team he has coached to reach 100 points in a game.

“We wanted three things to happen, and get (senior forward) Ben Snyder in better shape coming back from his shoulder injury in football. He made huge strides to being ready for league this Friday at West Wendover.”

Kelly said the Highlanders succeeded in sharpening their play since the Truckee Basketball Classic the previous week, when they suffered their only loss against Division I McQueen. The team has played solid defense since then and gunned the long ball at will, making a high percentage.

“We wanted to get as many shots up as possible,” Kelly said. “We are sharing the ball extremely well and finding open teammates for open shots.”

In the lopsided win over Portola, Incline scored 23 points in the first quarter and 29 in the second to carry a 52-31 lead into the half. The Highlanders came out just as hot in the second half, outscoring the Tigers 27-14 in the third quarter and 21-13 in the fourth.

Five Incline players scored in double figures, led by Zissis’ 16 points and Jack Clouthier’s 15 points on five 3-pointers. Thompson added 13 points, Jerry Sanchez and Bryan Golombik scored 11 points apiece, and Joey Stranzl, Blake Perry and Jack Bessette each had eight.

Junior Tanner Quenneville scored a team-high 24 points against Loyalton, Stranzl added 19 points, and Dylan Comstock and Nicky Witty finished with 11 apiece. Snyder and Grant Goldenberg each scored eight.

Thompson had a monster game against Bishop, finishing with 29 points, while Zissis scored 13, Stranzl 12 and Bessette 11.

Five Incline players finished in double figures against Owyhee. Zissis led the way with 18 points, five assists and five steals, Thompson scored 17, Quenneville 13, Bessette 11 and Stranzl 10.