Highlanders win 3 road games in 5 days, including overtime cliffhanger
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Incline and a few other basketball teams went into the weekend unbeaten but only the Highlanders came out unscathed.
The Highlanders won three road games in five days, highlighted by a come-from-behind, overtime thriller, and have separated themselves from the pack in the Northern League.
Incline whipped White Pine 74-49 last Friday and Silver Stage 85-50 on Tuesday, but sandwiched in between was an historic event for the Highlanders under head coach Tim Kelly.
Sophomore star TT Valosek scored a career-high 33 points and the Highlanders erased an 11-point halftime deficit and defeated West Wendover 78-72 in overtime on Saturday, Jan. 4.
It was the first time the Highlanders have beaten the Wolverines at their far Eastern Nevada home since Kelly took over the program in 2012-13.
“It was an amazing night, we survived it,” Kelly said.
Valosek hit 12 of 24 shots, including a 3-pointer and was 8 of 14 from the free throw line. He also grabbed eight rebounds and had five assists.
Also for Incline (11-3, 5-0 Northern), Tyler Knight added 19 points, including three 3-pointers, Finn Gottlieb netted 11, Brody Thralls scored four, hauled in eight boards, made four steals and dished three assists and Brad Rye had four points and five boards.
The big win came a day after Incline roasted White Pine from the opening tip.
After the first eight minutes, Incline lead 32-4 and it was game over.
Valosek sparked his two-day onslaught with 26 points and nine rebounds, both team highs.
Valosek is averaging just over 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists per game.
“TT put on an amazing show last weekend,” Kelly said. “He kinda put our league on notice that he’s a pretty special sophomore.”
Gottlieb added 14 points, Thralls had 10 points and four assists, Knight had five points, six assists and six boards and Rye had nine points and three steals.
Thralls and Gottlieb exploded against Silver Stage, leading an offense that had five players score in double figures.
Thralls scored 23, including a perfect 3 for 3 from 3-point range, brought down seven rebounds and had five steals and five assists while Gottlieb added 22 points, six rebounds and seven assists.
“Brody and Finn went off and put on a show of their own,” Kelly said.
Valosek had 15, Rye 11 and Knight 10 to round out the top scorers.
Incline trailed 15-14 after the opening quarter but went on a 53-22 run over the next two periods and led by 30 entering the final frame.
The Highlanders return home Friday for a 7:30 p.m. tip against Coral Academy (1-3 Northern).
While that game on paper is a formality, the Highlanders have a big game early next week against their North Shore rivals, the North Tahoe Lakers (3-1 Northern), who are alone in second place.
2A Northern League standings: Incline 5-0, North Tahoe 3-1, West Wendover 3-2, White Pine 3-2, Battle Mountain 2-2, Silver Stage 2-2, Yerington 1-3, Coral Academy 1-3, Pershing County 0-5.