North Tahoe boys short on comeback |

North Tahoe boys short on comeback

Alex Close/Sierra SunNorth Tahoe senior Michael Forte drains a free throw during the Lakers' 56-52 loss to Incline on Wednesday. Forte scored a team-high 30 points.

Despite steadily closing the point gap set down by visiting Incline on Wednesday night, North Tahoe’s boys basketball team could not quite turn the game in its favor.

Three quarters after senior Michael Forte drained a huge 3-pointer to give the Lakers their only lead of the game, the Highlanders celebrated a 56-52 victory.

Despite Forte’s big basket in the middle of the first quarter that put the Lakers up 5-4, the quarter ended with Incline up 9-3.

By the end of the half, the Highlanders led 29-15.

“I was disappointed in the intensity level in the first half,” Laker head coach David Hansen said after the game. “We only played half a game.”

Incline’s boys were bringing down boards, sinking baskets and picking off passes ” generally all the things that win basketball games, and all the things that North Tahoe was not doing.

However, by the end of the third quarter ” after a more driven, more intense Laker team took the floor following halftime ” North Tahoe had whittled the 14-point deficit down to 9 points.

And after another eight minutes of impressive, nail-biting basketball, the final whistle blew with the Lakers down by a mere four points.

The comeback could be attributed to the stepped-up play from the Laker squad, including inspired defense by Michele Basile and a dominant overall performance by Forte, who appeared to nearly turn the game around on his own, taking shots, bringing down boards and stealing balls.

However, even Forte’s 30-point game was not enough in the end.

In the end, playing one half of basketball and depending on points from one player ” North Tahoe’s next highest scorers were Ernesto Mendoza and Brent Marple, who both scored 5 ” was just not enough to win a basketball game.

As Hansen pointed out, his boys rise for an occasion, and with such a close final score in a game played so below a team’s full potential, there is a good deal of hope for Laker hoops fans.

North Tahoe (0-2, 3-5) hosts Dayton (1-0, 5-2) ” a team that always does well in the Northern 3A ” on Friday at 5:30 p.m.

“If we play to the best of our abilities, we can win that ballgame,” Hansen said.

Notes: The JV boys lost 62-38 to Incline.

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