North Tahoe girls storm past Sparks | SierraSun.com

North Tahoe girls storm past Sparks

Staff reports

It was all about the second half for the North Tahoe High girls basketball team Wednesday.

“We basically stunk up the joint in the first half,” said Lakers head coach Scott Conn.

The opposite was true in the final two quarters, as the Lakers (4-11, 8-17) overcame a 25-9 halftime deficit to squeak out a 41-40 victory over the host Sparks Railroaders.

“It was a blast to watch,” Conn said of the come-from-behind win. “It was a lot of tremendous defense.”

After experimenting with different lineups in the opening half, to no avail, Conn started a mix of two seniors and three sophomores ” Joelle Lazzareschi, Bridgette Kimmey, Sidney Courcier, Brit Johnson and Kelly Hester ” to start the third quarter.

The move paid off, as North Tahoe outscored the Railroaders 14-7 in the third quarter and 18-8 over the final eight-minute period. The comeback was sparked by the Lakers’ defense, which created turnovers by way of steals, blocked shots and forced five-second violations when the Railroaders tried to inbound the ball, Conn said.

After a pair of 3-pointers from Johnson, North Tahoe pulled even with the Railroaders for the first time, at 38, with 1:30 remaining in the fourth quarter. Sparks answered before the Lakers again tied the score at 40.

With 15 seconds left on the clock, Courcier made one of two free throws to give her team a 41-40 lead. Sparks tossed up a wild shot that missed, and the Lakers held on for the one-point win.

“I wish this would have happened seven games ago,” Conn said of his team’s second-half performance. … “It was a real team effort.”

Hester led the Lakers with 12 points, while Lazzareschi scored eight and Kimmey and Johnson six apiece. The Railroaders’ Sierra Shaw scored a game-high 25 points, 14 of which came in the first half.

The North Tahoe High boys basketball team dropped a Northern 3A league contest 67-26 at Sparks on Wednesday.

“They just had more athletic ability than us,” Lakers head coach David Hansen said. “But, as always, my guys always try hard. They never give up.”

Spencer Marple had a team-high 12 points.

The Lakers play their final games of the season at Yerington on Saturday Girls tip off at 2 p.m., boys at 3:30.