North Tahoe boys fall in league semis, finish with most wins in more than a decade
The North Tahoe boys’ basketball season came to a close Feb. 21 in the Class 2A Northern League semifinals, marking an end to one of the best seasons at the high school in more than a decade.
Led by a core of seniors that brought the program back to relevance, the Lakers finished the year with 19 wins, captured second place in the league standings, and had five players earn all-league honors.
“It was a great senior class. I was really proud of their efforts all year and how they all grew as leaders,” said Coach Devin Ginty. “To see them go from their freshman year where, I think, they went 0-23 playing on (junior varsity) to finish in second place and get a first-round bye in the regional playoffs with 19 wins is awesome and is a testament to how hard they’ve worked in their high school careers.”
North Tahoe entered last Friday’s regional semifinal matchup as the No. 2 seed. A victory would have stamped a trip to state for the second straight season, but No. 3 seed West Wendover managed to pull away late, outscoring the Lakers 19-13 down the stretch to take a 53-42 victory. West Wendover would go on to fall 68-60 to defending state champions, Incline, in the league finals.
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Senior John Parmeter Zapata led the Lakers with 12 points, 13 rebounds, and six blocks. Zapata led the team on the season, averaging 13.0 points per game, 10.3 rebounds per game, and 3.2 blocks per game. For his play he was named the Northern League’s defensive player of the year.
Fellow senior Cameron McAndrews scored seven points in Friday’s semifinal game. He averaged 11.4 points per game this season and was named first-team all league for his play.
Senior Lucas Valois also earned first-team all league honors, having averaged 10.9 points per game and 2.2 steals per game. Valois scored six points in Friday’s game.
Sophomore Juan Camacho-Morales and junior Patrick Gulini were named to the league’s honorable mention list.
The Lakers senior class also includes Elijah Sword, Than Suksabai, and Edgar Padilla Estrada.
“I’m proud of the way they’ve developed as young men,” said Ginty. “They should be proud of everything they accomplished.”
Aside from the wins and individual accolades, this year’s team also changed the environment at home games, bringing a raucous student section to league and rivalry games.
“I’d like to give a huge thank you to the whole community and our school for supporting us this year,” said Ginty. “I think we really had one of the best home-court environments in the whole league.”
Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at email@example.com or 530-550-2643.
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