North Tahoe basketball | Girls run past Whittell on winter homecoming | SierraSun.com

North Tahoe basketball | Girls run past Whittell on winter homecoming

Sylas Wright
Sierra Sun
Sylas Wright / Sierra SunNorth Tahoe point guard Elizabeth Buhler gets past a Whittell defender during the Lakers' 36-19 win Friday night.
ALL |

TAHOE CITY, Calif. and#8212; Fueled by a large, spirited homecoming crowd rallying behind the school band, the North Tahoe girls’ basketball team pulled away early en route to a 36-19 win against Whittell to kick off Mount Rose League play Friday night.

and#8220;They came out to support us,and#8221; North Tahoe head coach Rick Buhler said of the lively crowd. and#8220;It’s always nice to have the band making some noise, and the student body was great. It’s good to have that support. That’s what home-court advantage is all about.and#8221;

The home team took advantage, indeed.

After matching a couple buckets to start the game, the Lakers took complete control, using a rebounding and shooting edge to turn a 4-4 tie into a 12-4 lead by the end of the first quarter, which swelled to 22-8 by the half.

and#8220;It was a good first half. It was probably the most complete half we’ve played all year across the board,and#8221; said Buhler, adding that the Lakers played well in all facets of the game, particularly in the rebounding department.

and#8220;Our strength in the first half was that they couldn’t rebound with us,and#8221; the coach continued. and#8220;Taylor Briggs really had the game of the night. She was always in the right spot and she was aggressive. She looked good.and#8221;

While Briggs went to work on the interior, fellow post Samantha Jeffers provided offensive support, converting offensive rebounds and scoring off of nice feeds from her guards.

and#8220;It was a good game,and#8221; said Jeffers, who finished 10 points. and#8220;We came together as a team and fulfilled our potential, for sure.and#8221;

The Lakers received contributions from multiple players. During an 11-0 run in the second quarter, junior point guard Elizabeth Buhler popped a midrange jumper, Angela Wood scored on a nifty move in transition and Mago Olivares drained a shot from outside, all in quick succession, to prompt a Whittell timeout with a 19-6 Laker lead.

Coming off the timeout, North Tahoe freshman Sage Chador converted an offensive rebound putback before Amanda Harris finally ended the run with a layup off an inbound play.

and#8220;We were a little rusty,and#8221; said Whittell head coach Tom Esposito, referring to the recent holiday break. and#8220;We’ll go back to the drawing board and see what we can do against South Tahoe on Tuesday.and#8221;

Esposito said he was pleased with his team’s defensive effort in the second half. The Warriors matched the Lakers’ eight points in the third quarter, using offensive contributions from Jennifer Shepack, Emily and Amanda Harris, and Iran Manzano, who ended the quarter with a slashing score to cut the lead to 30-16.

Buhler hit shots on consecutive trips down the court to open the fourth quarter, and the Lakers coasted the rest of the way to victory.

Buhler finished with 10 points, while Olivares had five points and Irene Rojas four. Amanda Harris led the Warriors with 11 points.

The Lakers improved to 5-7 overall and 1-0 in Mount Rose League play. Whittell fell to 2-7 overall and 0-1 in the MRL.