North Tahoe girls’ rallies to beat Whittell |

North Tahoe girls’ rallies to beat Whittell

Joe Proudman
Joe Proudman / Tahoe Daily Tribune

ZEPHYR COVE, Nev. – North Tahoe coach Rick Buhler can’t figure out why his team struggles on the road. During their previous trip to the South Shore, a late start cost the Lakers a Mount Rose win over South Tahoe. And on Tuesday, they needed a second half surge to take home a 31-24 victory over winless Whittell.

“It’s something we got to work on, because if we do what we’re suppose to do, we’ll make zone,” Buhler said.

Whittell started the game up 9-2 at the end of the first quarter, and went into the half leading 15-10. They were without standout Amanda Harris, who is done for the season with an ankle injury, and without head coach Tom Esposito – suspended for a game after being ejected in Whittell’s match against South Tahoe on Friday. The team is now leaning on Emily Harris, who had 16 of Whittell’s 24 points on Tuesday. She said the Warriors didn’t expect to do so well without both.

“Without Amanda it’s been tough, because she’s who I look to when I’m in trouble. But other girls are stepping up,” she said. “Without a coach we though it was going to be tough.”

In the end though, it was North Tahoe who made the game tough on the Warriors.

The Lakers went on a seven point run to start the second half, grabbing a 17-15 lead before Jenny Shepack tied it up with a quick shot from just in front of the free-throw line that banked off the glass. After both teams missed a set of free throws, Emily Harris regained the lead for Whittell, scoring on her own offensive rebound. The Warriors looked to get a break as North Tahoe traveled on their next possession, but Whittell gave right back with a walk of their own, leading to a Irene Rojas two-pointer with one second left in the third, to tie the game at 19.

The Lakers struck first in the fourth, with Mago Olivares nailing a bucket to give North Tahoe a lead they would never give up. Emily Harris made it 21-20 at the line, but the North Shore team pulled away as their point guard, Liz Buhler, took over the game with eight points in the final minutes, including a three-pointer and a basket plus one at the line after being fouled. North Tahoe went on a 10-4 run to end the game.

“We’re lucky to get a win,” Rick Buhler said. “It is a win though, so we’ll take it.”

The Lakers even out to 3-3 in Mount Rose play and head to Truckee on Friday, while the Warriors are 0-8 in league and face Incline on Wednesday.

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