North Tahoe girls basketball team earns consolation trophy
After enduring a frigid start, the North Tahoe High girls basketball team rebounded to capture the consolation championship from the Hoopa Valley Warrior Winter Classic this past weekend in Hoopa, Calif.
North Tahoe absorbed a 63-24 defeat in its opener Friday against Kelseyville, then came back to defeat Anderson Valley 58-36 on Friday and Marin Academy 53-47 on Saturday to bring home the tournament’s third-place trophy. North Tahoe coach Scott Conn was obviously pleased about the achievement afterward.
“This is the first girls varsity hardware brought home in over 10 years at NTHS,” said Conn, whose Lakers improved their season record to 4-5 (1-2 Northern 3A). “We had an extremely hard-fought, back-and-forth battle with a strong team from Marin Academy out of Marin County (San Rafael). I was really proud of the kids. They stepped up.”
Kacie Conn scored 16 points, and Joelle Lazzareschi and Samantha Leigh added 12 each to lead a balanced North Tahoe offense against Marin Academy. Leigh also grabbed nine rebounds, while Jefree Schroepfer contributed eight points and three blocked shots.
North Tahoe led 22-21 at halftime and 36-29 at the end of three quarters then held on for the win.
Later in the day, the Lakers used a 25-6 run through the second quarter to pull away from Anderson Valley (Boonville). Lazzareschi produced a double-double as she scored 13 points, aided by 7-for-11 shooting from the free throw line, and grabbed 11 rebounds. Kelly Hester also scored 10 points for the Lakers, while Elly Roemer contributed eight points and seven rebounds.
“I was curious to see how the kids would respond in the second game. And they (the Lakers) really took it to them from the start, so they did respond well,” coach Conn said.
Friday’s noon opener against eventual tournament champion Kelseyville ” a team that went 20-6 and advanced to the CIF North Coast Section playoffs last season ” was more of a forgettable experience.
“It looked like we were sleep-walking after the 6 1/2 hour drive to get to the tournament,” coach Conn said. “It looked like the Night of the Living Dead to watch. We shot less than 20 percent from the field “nothing went in despite having good looks at the basket.”
Kelseyville (3-6), a 48-38 victor against Hoopa Valley in the girls tournament final, surged to a 19-7 first-quarter lead and never looked back against the Lakers. Jodi Snider, a 5-foot-8 junior forward, shot 7-for-10 from the field and scored 15 points to lead the Knights.
Lazzareschi scored seven points, Hester six and Leigh six to lead the Lakers offensively.
The trip North to Hoopa served its purpose, according to coach Conn.
“I’m trying to get the girls into games and tournaments where there’s a level playing field,” he said, explaining that it’s hard to judge based on playing Northern 3A schools that are much larger than North Tahoe. “That will give me an indication of where we are.”
The North Tahoe girls play again this afternoon when they host nonconference foe Quincy in a 3 p.m. contest. The JV game is scheduled for a 1:30 start.
And there’s obviously still work to be done.
“We continue to blow our break-away lay-ups, making these games closer than they need to be, but we will continue to work on these things over the coming week,” said coach Conn, adding that the Lakers missed “at least” eight layups against Marin Academy.
“My hair was falling out,” the coach added.
North Tahoe’s junior varsity girls team split two games on Friday, losing 60-23 to Del Norte before beating Hoopa 27-21. The JV girls are now 5-3 on the season.
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