Lady Highlanders beat nemesis, rival White Pine for state championship
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — After another close game with their rival and nemesis, the Lady Highlanders claimed the state basketball title.
The Incline High School girls’ matched up against the two-time defending state champion White Pine Bobcats for the fourth time this season at the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association Class 2A State Championships held at the University of Nevada’s Lawlor Events Center in Reno, where Highlanders fans showed up in force.
White Pine beat Incline for the state title last year so Highlanders wanted redemption.
The game was physical from the start, with both teams trading physical fouls.
“There was a lot of adversity in this game with the foul trouble we had,” said Incline head coach Indra Winquest. “Our defense won it for us.”
Incline held White Pine off the scoreboard in the first half, finishing with a 17-8 lead after the first 16 minutes..
White Pine came back hungry after half time, scoring 13 points in the third quarter and eventually tying the game.
Incline was also at a disadvantage when 6-foot-2 sophomore Eiley Tippins went down with an ankle injury.
“I was really scared when I went down,” Tippins said. “But I was going to get back in the game even if something was really wrong.”
Tippins returned in the fourth quarter.
The game remained physical with senior Samantha Giangreco taking an elbow to the throat in the final quarter.
“It was a physical game which makes it a mental game,” Giangreco said. “We had to stay focused on the task at hand instead of the physicality of it.”
Giangreco took last season off the focus on school. She said winning state was a great way to comeback to the sport.
The game remained close in the final quarter, with both teams trading baskets. Incline kept White Pine at bay, ending with the game with a 38-30 victory.
“I’m so happy for my girls,” said Winquest, whose voice was nearly gone. “It’s such a great thing to see them win this.”
Incline’s championship team consists of co-captain Brook Gutheil, co-captain Elisabeth Stranzl, Mattison Lampe, Giangreco, Tippins, Mariana Leoncio, Kate Tong, co-captain Madison Corneil, Nicole Spanial, Kansel Coudriet and Jackie Schwartz.
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