North Tahoe hoops: Girls lose to Incline in league opener |

North Tahoe hoops: Girls lose to Incline in league opener

Sylas Wright
Sierra Sun
Sylas Wright/Sierra SunLaker senior Tani Pettit drives toward the hoops against against Incline on Tuesday.

DOLLAR HILL and#8212; North Tahoe head coach Scott Conn had an inkling that the defending league champs would return a powerhouse squad in 2010. On Tuesday, visiting Incline confirmed just that.

and#8220;The end result was expected,and#8221; said Conn, whose Lakers fell, 65-22, to the Highlanders in both teams’ league openers. and#8220;I have to say that Incline is tall, fast and a very good team. We need to concentrate on improving if we want to compete with them down the road this year.and#8221;

With the loss North Tahoe dropped to 3-7 overall on the season (0-1 league), while Incline improved to 5-7 overall (1-0 league).

Incline, a team that returns all five of its starters from a year ago, established its dominance early, using a full-court press to build a 22-4 lead by the end of the first quarter and a 40-11 advantage by the half. After Incline head coach Bill Devine called off the press following the big opening quarter, the Highlanders continued to pull away with an overwhelming combination of size and quickness.

and#8220;Our last two games we got blown out pretty bad, so we talked about that and how we needed more preparation,and#8221; Devine said. and#8220;… the thing we were trying to do (Tuesday) was be prepared from the jump ball on.and#8221;

Devine said he ran the press in the first quarter for two reasons: To build momentum and to keep his team in condition. But he said he called it off after gaining the sizable lead because he has too much respect for his neighboring rival and its coach.

The Lakers could have used the size and skill of sophomore post player Samantha Jeffers, who is out two to four weeks with torn tendons in her bicep. As Conn pointed out, without Jeffers, who’s 5 foot 11, the shortest player in the Highlanders’ starting lineup still was taller than North Tahoe’s biggest player.

and#8220;The story of the game came down to Incline’s height and speed, which was very impressive,and#8221; Conn said, explaining that the Highlanders’ quickness was the biggest factor in the multitude of Laker turnovers. and#8220;(It) had a lot to do with our kids trying to rush things, instead of settling down and taking their time.and#8221;

Senior guard Sara Estrada led the Lakers in the scoring department, finishing with six points, while junior guard Beverly Olivares added five points.

For Incline, Lauren Wilson tallied a game-high 11 points and Kelli Cherry finished with 10 points.

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