North Tahoe basketball: Pershing County thwarts Lakers’ postseason run
The North Tahoe girls lost 66-33 to Pershing County in a Northern 2A semifinal at North Valleys High School on Friday.
The loss ended a season in which the Lakers finished 9-4 in league play and 15-11 overall to earn the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye.
Pershing County, seeded third in the tournament, went on to rout No. 1-seeded Incline 54-35 in the Northern 2A regional championship Saturday. Both Pershing County and Incline will represent the North in the state championship this weekend in Las Vegas.
For the Lakers, Friday’s loss was particularly disappointing after they defeated Pershing County ” also called Lovelock ” twice during the regular season. They also suffered a lopsided loss to the Mustangs in last year’s regional tournament.
“I hate seeing the same movie again and again, but I have to give Pershing County all the credit in the world,” said North Tahoe head coach Scott Conn. … “They really took it to us. I was surprised by our lack of focus in responding to the challenge.”
North Tahoe fell behind early and never recovered as the Mustangs came out firing and the Lakers struggled to knock down shots of their own. Pershing County led 15-2 at the end of one quarter and 36-13 at the midway point.
Things didn’t get any better in the third quarter for the Lakers, who fell behind 53-19 by the start of the fourth quarter.
“It’s always difficult to beat a team three times, but at the very least I thought we’d give them a game,” said Conn, whose team defeated Pershing County 47-31 on Jan. 2 and won again 46-43 at Pershing County on Jan. 24.
No Laker scored in double figures, and the team combined to shoot 6 of 23 from the free-throw line.
Senior Sydney Courcier and freshman Samantha Jeffers led the team with six points apiece, while Jeffers grabbed a team-high seven rebounds. Kea Jolicoeur had five points, and Sara Estrada and Shannon Stack each contributed four points. Senior point guard Hester had three assists, three steals and two points.
“I have to take some criticism as well,” Conn said. “I must have done something wrong not getting them prepared well enough.”
Despite the loss, the coach said the season was the most successful in school history. “But to have it end abruptly like that is hard,” he added.
About the Laker players, “They were definitely disappointed in the loss, in the opportunity they missed ” being the first girls team from North Tahoe going to State ” and they were disappointed with their performance,” Conn said.
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