Incline runs into stiff competition at San Diego hoops tourney | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Incline runs into stiff competition at San Diego hoops tourney

Incline ran into stiff competition at the Mt. Carmel Holiday Classic basketball tournament.

The Highlanders played four games against larger schools in the four-day event, Dec. 26-29, in San Diego, and drove home with one victory.

Incline lost to tournament host Mt. Carmel 63-46 Thursday, bounced back the next day with a 64-51 victory over Crawford but then lost the next two days 71-49 to Escondido and 94-41 to Chaparral.

"The trip was amazing," said Highlanders head coach Tim Kelly. "We accomplished exactly what we went down there for, to compete against bigger schools and push ourselves to start the new year. We played really well and more importantly saw styles of play that prepare us perfectly for the next two months."

The Highlanders came home from the tournament a little sick and banged up. They played shorthanded Jan. 2 and lost 51-41 at Reno.

In the Highlanders win over Crawford, Ian Smith broke out with 22 points, including six 3-pointers, Liam Nolan-Bowers set a career high with 19 rebounds while also chipping in 12 points, and freshman TT Valosek scored 20 points and hauled in 11 boards.

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"The win against a good Crawford team was the highlight of the trip," Kelly said. "Johnny Redfern and Brad Rye were defensive monsters. Ian shot it extremely well and TT and Liam destroyed on the boards."

Other tournament highlights included Valosek scoring 25 points against Mt. Carmel and Smith scoring 17 against Chaparral.

Against Reno, Valosek had 10 points and seven rebounds, Nolan-Bowers added nine points and six boards, Tyler Knight scored eight points and Smith netted seven and made three steals.

Kelly expects Incline (10-5, 4-0 Northern League) to be at full strength when it plays Friday, Jan. 4, at White Pine and Saturday, Jan. 5, at West Wendover.

The Highlanders return home Tuesday, Jan. 8, with a rivalry clash against North Tahoe at home.