Stranzl, Tippins earn All-State for Lady Highlanders
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — The Incline Lady Highlanders ran through the Northern League, the northern regional tournament, won their last 17 games and finished with a state championship.
The postseason awards have followed, although with how the Highlanders dominated, it seems they could have received more.
Sophomores Elisabeth Stranzl and Eiley Tippins each earned first team-All-State honors and were also first team All-Northern League. Fellow sophomore Brooke Gutheil earned first team All-League and second team All-State.
And all three could have received higher awards.
Stranzl was the league’s top scorer at 12.6 points per game with Tippins right behind at 12.2, but Hailee Keats from Yerington was awarded Offensive Player of the Year.
Stranzl, a second-year varsity starter, hit 47 3-pointers, more than double the next best output in the league and also averaged team highs in assists (3.7) and steals (3.7) per game.
“Liz should have been offensive MVP no doubt about it,” said Incline head coach Indra Winquest. “I’ll take Liz any day. She was keyed on all year by other teams, but that girl did everything she could to get us wins. For a girl with that size disadvantage, she just used her skills and was amazing.”
Tippins led the league in rebounding at 9.4 per game and was also second in blocks with 2.3 per contest.
“The southern teams got to see Eiley at state and she was playing really strong at the end of the year,” Winquest said. “Eiley has the size advantage, the energy and determination.”
Eva Kingston, of White Pine, won the Most Valuable Player award, and that’s hard to argue. Without the third-leading scorer in league this year, White Pine doesn’t reach the state championship game where it lost to Incline.
“I was OK with Kingston getting MVP, she deserved it in a sense, without her they probably wouldn’t have made the playoffs,” Winquest said. “Everybody knows I’ve got three girls who could’ve been MVP of the league.”
Winquest was thrilled with his starting five this year and wished that everybody could have received recognition.
Gutheil blocked over 80 shots this season, over 20 more than the next best total from her teammate Tippins. She also made just under three steals per game, but Presley Burrows, of Pershing County, was named Defensive Player of the Year.
Gutheil also averaged eight points and grabbed 8.5 rebounds per game.
“Brooke was the calming force on this team,” Winquest said. “She could have definitely won defensive player but it’s hard getting that many players from one team All-League.”
Senior Madison Corneil earned second team All-League and averaged 7.7 points per game, a co-team high 3.7 assists and 3.2 steals.
Senior Sami Giangreco earned honorable mention. She averaged 5.1 points per game and was the league’s third best 3-point shooter, but her coach, Indra Winquest, raved all year about her defense and versatility.
“My biggest disappointment was not being able to get Maddie All-League,” Winquest. “She was the MVP of our team this year with her leadership and composure. And Sami, we just wouldn’t have won a state title without those two seniors.”
Winquest was named Coach of the Year in the Northern League. In his seven years, he has put together an impressive overall record of 135-46 and has never suffered through a losing season. He has won 20 games in five of seven years.
His teams have won the league championship in four of seven years.
Incline finished the season 24-3, including 15-1 in league with their lone loss to former two-time defending state champ White Pine.
“To be voted the top coach was humbling, but it’s all about the girls,” Winquest said. “The first time I won it, I thought it was cool, but now, all credit goes to the girls.”
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