North Tahoe boys claim win in basketball opener, set to face Truckee for TNT Cup

High school basketball season is underway in the Truckee-Tahoe area, and a pair of rivals are set to battle for the second annual TNT Cup.

The North Tahoe boys’ basketball team tipped its season off on Tuesday with a win, taking a 72-55 victory on the road game against Portola.

Led by senior captain Cameron McAndrews’ 17 points, the Lakers had 12 players score during the game.

“I was most proud of the 12 different guys that scored and everyone contributing,” said third-year coach Devin Ginty. “Everyone came in and stepped up.”

The Lakers blew the game open in the second quarter, outscoring Portola by 18 points. Senior captain Lucas Valois also broke into double figures with 15 points. Valois and senior Elijah Sword led North Tahoe with three rebounds each. Junior Patrick Gulini had a team-high three steals.

“We’re really excited about this year,” said Ginty on the team’s roster. “This is a group of core guys that have been with me for three years. We definitely have some high hopes.”

McAndrews, Valois, and senior John Parmeter Zapata will serve as captains for a team loaded with upperclassmen.

“Those are three guys that really embody everything our program is about commitment-wise and integrity-wise,” said Ginty. “They are good leaders on the court and lead by example.”

Last season the trio helped propel the program to its first state tournament appearance since 1998.

“Last year was kind of our first time being in that position and this year I hope that experience will come into play in some close games and some games that matter down the stretch,” Ginty added.

“We want to play hard, fundamental basketball and focus on our defense leading to offense. I’m excited about this group because we have a lot of depth that we didn’t have in the past.”

The Lakers opened tournament play on Thursday in Foresthill at the Wildfire Classic, and will continue with games throughout the weekend.

The team will then host Truckee at 6 p.m. Tuesday as the two programs square off in the second annual TNT Cup.

“We started the game with the hopes of growing the basketball culture around the lake and around the Truckee-Tahoe area,” said Ginty. “I think this is a great tradition, and there’s a good buzz around our campus right now, not only about the game on Tuesday, but about the basketball season in general.”

The Wolverines topped the Lakers, 62-54, in last years’ TNT Cup.

“I hope it’s a fun rivalry game,” said Ginty. “It will be a great test for us. I’m looking forward to the environment and seeing what our guys can do to try to win that trophy back. We definitely want to keep it lakeside as much as we can.”

Lady Lakers

The North Tahoe girls’ basketball team began their season this week with a pair of losses.

The Lakers fell 59-16 at Portola on Tuesday. The team then traveled to Live Oak for a tournament on Wednesday, and suffered a 29-15 defeat to Paradise.

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at or 530-550-2643.

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