Incline dumps rival North Tahoe
The gym at North Tahoe High School was packed Tuesday night for the rivalry game between the Lakers and league foe Incline.
The matchup featured the top two teams in the Class 2A Northern League, but it would be the defending state champion Highlanders sending a message to the rest of 2A after a 76-51 win in hostile territory.
“We showed we are the best team in the league,” said Incline sophomore TT Valosek. “We came into our rivalry game — No. 1 seed against No. 2 — and we showed what we could do.”
Valosek poured in 26 points on the night, including hitting 5 of 14 from beyond the 3-point line. He also had eight rebounds, five assists, and four steals.
Led by Valosek, Incline made use of a five-guard lineup, and challenged North Tahoe by consistently playing full-court press on defense.
“We’re the best conditioned team in the league without a doubt,” added Valosek. “We condition more than any other team.”
Valosek, who earned Northern League offensive player of the year honors last year as a freshman, is averaging 20.5 points per game for Incline this season.
“This year, he’s having a good time playing,” said Coach Tim Kelly. “He’s fun to watch and he plays hard.”
After jumping out to a 21-10 lead after the first quarter of play, the Highlanders looked to put the game away in the second, but a late run by the Lakers kept the lead at 11 going into halftime. North Tahoe would cut the lead to seven coming out of the locker room, but Incline responded by going on a 10-0 run.
In the fourth quarter, the Highlanders defense forced several turnovers, while on offense the team drained four of its 13 3-pointers to put the game out of reach.
“We play the same way every night,” said Kelly. “We play really fast, we start five guards, we shoot the 3, and we fly around. It was about playing fast and having fun for 32 minutes … it was all about tempo.”
Incline senior Finn Gottlieb added 15 points.
Junior Brad Rye and sophomore Brody Thralls each scored 11 points. Rye also grabbed eight rebounds and dished out seven assists.
Thralls finished with a team-high six steals. Senior Tyler Knight tallied 10 points.
Senior John Parmeter Zapata led the Lakers with 18 points. Senior captains Cameron McAndrews and Lucas Valois each scored 12 points.
North Tahoe (12-4, 5-2 Northern League) will look to get back on track on Saturday with a road league game against Coral Academy of Science — Reno (3-10, 1-4 Northern League).
Incline (13-3, 7-0 Northern League) will travel to play Yerington (7-7, 2-4 Northern League) on Friday.
“Everyone is kind of chasing us and that was the goal,” said Kelly on sitting in first place in the league standings.
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