Sylas Wright

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February 6, 2013
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Incline basketball | Girls cruising after fifth straight win

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. - When Molly Franklin and Kortney Solis have the green light to shoot - which is every time down the court - the Incline girls are a dangerous basketball team.

Incline's big two combined to score 34 points on five 3-pointers Tuesday night, and the Highlanders rolled to a 47-28 Mount Rose League win against visiting Whittell.

"It was a win, but it was ugly," said Incline coach Wayne Nash, who lamented his team 6-of-20 shooting from the free-throw line and missed layups. "We had our (full-court) pressure going, but offensively we were really sluggish."

Despite Whittell senior Emily Harris' hot shooting hand - she hit three 3-pointers in the game and had 10 points in the first half - the Highlanders jumped out to a 17-7 lead by the end of the first quarter and held the Warriors to single digits in each of the remaining three quarters.

After Harris connected on a 3-pointer to cut Incline's lead to 19-14 midway through the second quarter, the Highlanders powered out of the half with eight straight points to extend their lead to 27-14. Franklin hit a shot from the perimeter and followed with a hard drive to the hoop, while Kerrie Tonking and Torii Baker each drove coast-to-coast after steals to close out the half.

"Our big thing was turnovers and fouls," said Whittell coach Tom Esposito, whose team had more than 20 turnovers. "That will hurt you. But other than that, it was a good game."

The Warriors never relented after the break, as they created 17 turnovers themselves with a scrappy zone defense and full-court press late.

But the shooting of Franklin and Solis were too much to overcome, as Solis closed out the third quarter with a 3-pointer to increase Incline's lead to 36-22.

"We started off kinda slow, but we're really good at working as a team, and I think our defense picks us up and that turns into offense," said Solis, who finished with 13 points.

Incline outscored Whittell 11-6 in the fourth to seal the win.

"We're playing our best basketball right now," said Incline coach Wayne Nash, whose Highlanders have won five straight and seven of their last eight. "The girls really turned a corner. I think we're now one of the strongest teams in the state. Pershing County obviously is the best, but then I think it's up for grabs."

Franklin scored a game-high 21 points and Tonking had five, while Harris led Whittell with 12 points, Amanda Harris added six points, and Kenya Maltase and Harki Mand each had four.

Incline improved to 14-12 overall and 6-3 in the Mount Rose League. Whittell dropped to 9-14 overall and 2-7 in league.

With her team now firing on all cylinders, Solis said she and the Highlanders can hardly wait to enter the Northern Division III regional tournament in Elko on Feb. 14-15. The Highlanders will likely enter as the No. 3 seed if they win their remaining league game at Sparks on Saturday.

"I'm looking forward to playoffs because the difference between the start of the year and now is huge," Solis said. "I can't wait to show everyone how much we've improved."

UP NEXT: Incline ends the regular season at Sparks on Saturday.

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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Feb 6, 2013 08:27PM Published Feb 6, 2013 08:23PM Copyright 2013 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.