North Tahoe basketball | Four-game skid threatens boys’ playoff bid
Northern Division III standings
West Wendover 11-1
Battle Mountain 8-4
Pershing County 6-6
White Pine 6-6
North Tahoe 4-7
Silver Stage 1-11
Pershing County 8-2
White Pine 8-3
Battle Mountain 6-3
Silver Stage 2-7
North Tahoe 1-8
West Wendover 1-10
The Lakers’ playoff hopes were considerably brighter four games ago.
Since earning a hard-fought win against Pershing County on Jan. 24, the North Tahoe boys have dropped four straight Division III contests, including a 68-58 loss at last-place Silver Stage last Wednesday.
The Lakers followed with a 62-59 loss to White Pine on Friday and a 59-40 loss to league-leading West Wendover on Saturday.
The string of losses dropped North Tahoe to sixth in the league standings, at 4-7. The Lakers have five games remaining on their league schedule. The top four teams qualify for the Northern Division III regional tournament.
“We keep shooting ourselves in the foot, like we’re trying to miss the playoffs,” North Tahoe coach Frank Wright said. “But we still have a chance.”
While Wright was not pleased with his team’s performance at Silver Stage (1-11), the coach said the Lakers played well against White Pine (6-6) and West Wendover (11-1).
The White Pine game was a heartbreaker for North Tahoe, which fell just three points short in a back-and-forth barn burner from the start.
“We’re very evenly matched,” said Wright, whose team defeated White Pine by three points in Ely on Jan. 3.
Senior point guard Alex Tyler led North Tahoe with 21 points, while sophomore forward Nick Joslin scored 15 points on 7-of-7 shooting from the field. Mitchell Myers scored 12 points and Alex Bourriague nine. Nick Johnson led White Pine with 25 points.
The Lakers played West Wendover tough through three quarters the following day. But the Wolverines, who suffered their first league loss at Incline the night before, pulled away in the fourth for the 19-point win.
Bourriague scored a team-high 13 points, Tyler added 12 points and Myers seven. Kylar Sharp scored 14 to lead West Wendover. North Tahoe could have used a healthy Noah McDermott, who played limited minutes as he continues to recover from a hyperextended knee.
If the Lakers do manage to earn the fourth playoff seed, they’ll likely face West Wendover again in the first round of the regional tournament.
With a short-handed lineup due to injuries, the North Tahoe girls lost 36-21 against West Wendover on Saturday and 58-20 to White Pine on Friday.
North Tahoe senior guard Angela Wood led the Lakers with seven points in each game, while Savannah App pulled down 17 rebounds against West Wendover.
The Lakers are scheduled to play at Yerington on Friday and host Silver Stage on Saturday, girls at 2 p.m. and boys at 3:30. They end the regular season with a road game at Pershing County next Tuesday and a home game against Incline next Thursday.