Lakers drop close battle with Dayton
The North Tahoe High varsity girls basketball team dropped a hard-fought contest 46-43 against visiting Dayton on Friday.
The Lakers are now 1-3 overall and 0-2 in Northern 3A league play.
North Tahoe head coach Scott Conn said his team nearly pulled off the win with its pressure defense late in the game, but came up short after going cold offensively in the final quarter.
“In the fourth quarter we really stepped up our defense,” he said, adding that the Lakers held the Dust Devils to just 7 points in the last period while creating a total of 17 turnovers in the game. “Our ability to pressure them was very effective.”
However, in spite of stealing the ball five times in the fourth, the Lakers only managed to score 5 points on two of 20 shooting, Conn said.
“I’ve never seen a dry spell like this,” the coach said. “We couldn’t buy a bucket. Anything we threw up there was not going down.”
Including the final shot that would have tied the score.
Trailing 46-43 with time running down, North Tahoe sophomore Kelly Hester swung around the baseline and pulled up for a 3-point shot as the buzzer sounded.
Although the shot missed ” even though it went halfway into the cylinder before coming out, Conn said ” Hester was fouled, putting her on the line for three free throws. Needing all three to tie the game, the first free throw missed, ending the contest.
North Tahoe senior Joelle Lazzareschi led the Lakers with 10 points while Sydney Courcier added 9 and Brit Johnson 7.
Conn said he was happy with his team’s effort, and is not worried about the early-season loss.
“Our defense is getting better and better each week, so I’m pleased with how that is progressing,” he said. “We’ll get nothing but better from here. This team is going to continue to grow. We’ll be someone to look out for in the second half (of the season).”
After the cold shooting performance in the last quarter of Friday’s game, Scott said the focus in Saturday’s practice was on offense.
The Lakers host Portola today at 6 p.m. The JV girls play at 3 p.m.
Bridgette Kimmey, a senior shooting guard and a four-year varsity starter, has seen two orthopedic surgeons since suffering a partial dislocation of her knee last week, Conn said.
Kimmey suffered the injury on a contact play while dribbling the ball upcourt against Truckee on Wednesday. After going down hard along the sideline near midcourt, Kimmey remained on the floor face down before being carried off the court and taken to the hospital.
Her team could have used her senior leadership on Friday.
“We really missed her against Dayton,” Conn said.
The first orthopedic surgeon Kimmey saw told her that she would not be able to return this season, said Conn. However, upon receiving a second opinion, Kimmey was told that she may be able to return in mid-January.
Conn thinks that’s doable for a person like Kimmey.
“Bridgette is a driven person, very goal oriented,” he said. “She is really motivated to get back. If she comes back in mid-January I’ll be ecstatic.”
Dayton 11 14 14 7 46
NT 15 10 13 5 43
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