INCLINE VILLAGE — Neither the Incline nor Battle Mountain girls basketball team is accustomed to losing.
That much was apparent Saturday in Incline Village, as the Division III powers battled back and forth throughout regulation and an overtime period before the Highlanders escaped with a 47-45 win.
“We did not play that well. We missed a lot of defensive assignments. But we did what good teams do — we found a way to win the game,” Incline coach Indra Winquest said.
With Incline clinging to a three-point lead late in overtime, Battle Mountain senior Caitlyn Warwood banked in a long 3-pointer with 17 seconds left to knot the score.
Winquest called timeout and drew up a play. The shot did not connect. But it didn’t matter. Senior forward/guard Kortney Solis pulled down the rebound and put it back for the go-ahead bucket with five seconds remaining.
Battle Mountain missed its final attempt on the other end and Incline players spilled onto the court in celebration.
“There are some good teams in this league,” said Battle Mountain coach Paul Tremayne, who said he was pleased with his team’s effort but disappointed with the outcome. “It should be a fun league.”
Both teams had their moments Saturday.
The Highlanders jumped out to an early 9-2 lead before the Longhorns battled back to take a 21-16 lead into the half.
Incline, which switched to a more effective zone defense late in the second quarter, turned that halftime deficit into a 27-23 lead by the end of the third quarter, then stretched the lead to 34-27 with about five minutes left in the game.
“Once we switched to zone at the end of the first half we noticed that they were struggling with it,” Winquest said. “It took them until the fourth quarter to adjust to it.”
The Longhorns, a big, fundamentally sound team with a tradition of success, were down but not out. They scored the next nine straight points to take over the lead at 36-34 with three minutes remaining.
Consecutive slashing layups by Solis gave the Highlanders a 38-36 lead with just over a minute left. Battle Mountain center Hannah Hale then knotted the score with 27 seconds on the clock, and the game went to overtime after Incline threw away the inbound pass on its final possession and breathed a sigh of relief when the Longhorns could not convert on the other end.
“I really thought we played with guts,” Tremayne said. “We played well at times, but then we threw it away more than I thought we should. But I’m happy with how we came back.”
Solis led all scorers with 18 points, while Molly Franklin scored 17 for the Highlanders and Kerrie Tonking had six. Samantha Samuelson led the Longhorns with 12 points. Hale followed with 11 and Brooklyn Quintana with seven.
Incline is now 9-1 overall and 2-0 in the Northern Division III. Battle Mountain is 8-3 overall and 1-1 in league.
HIGHLANDERS ROUT MUSTANGS
On Friday night, the Incline girls soundly defeated previously undefeated Pershing County, 63-41, in front of a large home crowd.
After falling behind 7-0 at the start, Incline controlled the rest of the contest. The Highlanders came back to take a five-point lead by the half, while they increasing the advantage to 44-27 after outscoring the Mustangs 19-7 in the third quarter.
“Defensively, we were on fire,” Winquest said.
The Highlanders weren’t bad on the offensive end, either, as they hit 12 of their 20 3-point attempts in the game, led by Solis and senior Elise Nelson’s four trifectas apiece. Both finished with 14 points, while Franklin scored 10 and Sarah Wright seven.