The Incline High School girls varsity basketball team continued their strong tradition of great basketball during the 2016-17 season.
Battling through seven rescheduled games due to snow, sickness and injuries, the girls fought to a 12-10 overall record, 8-6 in conference play and their fifth straight trip to the Regional Tournament.
The Lady Highlanders were led by five returning letter winners from their State runner-up 2015-16 season: seniors Harmony Bates, Christine Schwartz and Taylor Cheney, along with junior Haeden Suter and sophomore Taylor Redfern.
Those five returners, along with senior Ciera Winberg and sophomores Chandler Cohn, Lily Price-Skelly and Carolyn Eppolito, rounded out the varsity team.
Led by head Coach Indra Winquest, in his fourth season, Incline once again played a tough preseason schedule and were in the hunt on the final Friday for a spot to play at State.
“That’s the goal every year here,” Winquest said. “We have built a belief that we are one of the best teams Nevada every year. We didn’t quite achieve our goal of going to state this year but we were right there in the end and I couldn’t be more proud of these young ladies. They had a great year and it was a pleasure to coach them.”
The 2017 team battled daily, playing in a very balanced AA Northern Nevada league. From first place White Pine to Pershing County, West Wendover, Battle Mountain and Silver Stage, the Highlanders didn’t get a game off.
That was especially a struggle when starter Bates had to miss two games for We The People, and then starter Cheney was lost for the season with a concussion.
You add that with playing many make-up games in a row with no rest, and it was amazing the girls made it to regionals.
Led by Redfern, a 2016 1st Team All State selection, Incline won just enough games to earn the tie-breaker over Battle Mountain for the 4th seed.
Redfern, a 2017 First Team All League Selection and Offensive Player of the Year, scored 19.7 points a game, including 33 points against White Pine in the regional semifinal.
“Taylor was definitely worthy of offensive MVP this season,” Winquest said. “She was really good and that’s with teams really keying on her. I was proud of her effort this season but honestly I was so much prouder of how all the girls really stepped up and played so well. We had huge contributions from everyone and that’s why we had the season we had.”
Those huge contributions were evident by all the coaches in the league, not just Winquest, when the all conference voting came around. Bates, a 2-year starter and a force on the defensive end and boards, was awarded 2nd Team All Conference, while fellow senior Schwartz and junior Suter earned All Conference Honorable Mention.
This article was provided by Thomas Reymer, Athletic Director at Incline High School.
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As seniors from North Tahoe collected diplomas this week, a group of Lakers continued another local tradition — capturing first place at the boys’ regional golf championship.