Lady Highlander hoopsters fall to White Pine in state final
The Incline Lady Highlanders basketball team put together a furious second-half rally but couldn’t overcome a slow start and dreams for a state championship came to an end.
The Highlanders were defeated 33-25 Saturday by the White Pine Bobcats in the title game of the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association Class 2A Basketball Championships at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.
White Pine won its third consecutive state title and fourth in the last five years, twice beating Incline in the final.
White Pine, led by Eva Kingston, started fast while also shutting down the Incline offense.
Kingston scored 10 points to help the Bobcats jump out to a 14-5 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Incline senior Taylor Redfern scored the game’s first basket on a tough running hook shot.
Freshman Elisabeth Stranzl canned a 3-pointer late in the first period to end an 11-0 run.
The Highlanders offense went even more dormant in the second quarter. They were held without a point, but the defense also picked up and allowed just three points to the Bobcats.
Incline trailed 17-5 at halftime.
The Highlanders owned the third quarter, but didn’t take full advantage of the points offered to them.
Stranzl drained a pair of 3s and also added a 2-point bucket and finished with a team-high 11 points.
Her last 3 made it 18-15 and came on the effort of Kensal Coudriet who wrestled away an offensive rebound and passed out to the perimeter while falling to the ground.
But the Highlanders converted just 2 of 8 free throws and when they stormed back to come within three points, they could have easily been in the lead.
But White Pine responded with four quick points to end the third to make the score 22-15.
Redfern scored Incline’s first seven points of the fourth quarter and had the Highlanders within four, 26-22, but they would get no closer.
Redfern finished her record-setting career with nine points, three rebounds and two blocks.
Also for Incline (21-6), Madison Corneil added a lot of energy to the second half rally and finished with three points, seven rebounds and three steals, Serena Faulkner had two points and four boards and Brooke Gutheil grabbed five rebounds and made three blocks.
Kingston led all scorers with 19 points and also grabbed 13 rebounds.