Tippins, Gutheil lead Incline girls to share of Northern League title (Gallery)
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — With Eiley Tippins and Brooke Gutheil on the inside and Elisabeth Stranzl, Madison Corneil and Sami Giangreco on the outside, Incline is nearly impossible to defend, and even harder to score against.
The whole show was on display Tuesday night in front of a madhouse of a gymnasium where the Highlanders hosted, and soundly defeated, its North Shore rival North Tahoe 53-18.
Tippins and Gutheil were just too much in the paint for the undersized Lakers.
They each scored a game-high 14 points and gobbled up gobs of rebounds to lead the Lady Highlanders to victory and clinch a share of the Northern League title.
On one sequence down the floor, Tippins and Gutheil each grabbed two offensive rebounds to keep Incline possessions alive.
“It’s exciting,” Gutheil said. “We play club together. We work together a lot. It’s like we know each other’s thoughts. We’re almost twins on the court.”
The duo run the floor and their silent communication is visible through eye contact.
“It’s fun being on the court with Brooke, along with Liz,” Tippins said. “We all play club together so it’s fun to feed off each other.”
Tippins scored 10 first-half points to help Incline jump out to a 28-6 lead.
Gutheil scored nine points in the second half, including a 3-point baseline bomb, to lead the Highlander scoring charge.
“Eiley played a great game and Brooke was phenomenal,” said Incline head coach Indra Winquest. “The guards played well, but I thought those two kind of anchored us tonight.”
Corneil added 13 points, most coming on fastbreaks where she beat her opponents down the floor. She made a nifty 3-point play that brought the crowd alive. She was fouled hard while going for a layup and still made the shot.
Stranzl, the team’s leading scorer at 13.1 points per game, added eight points and Mattison Lampe and Giangreco each made a bucket.
“We wanted to play a clean game and we wanted to get out of here with a good win, which we clearly did,” Winquest added. “We were a little slower at times during the game. We’ve gotta stay at a high level no matter what. But I thought North Tahoe did a really good job against us. They got better, they look a lot more disciplined on offense and defense and that’s a credit to their coach, they’re getting better.
“We’re also trying to stay healthy and not get in situations where girls are getting hurt,” Winquest added. “This is not the time of year where we want to be injured.”
The Highlanders have one game remaining before the playoffs begin, Friday at home against Yerington.
If Incline wins, it will be the No. 1 seed heading into the Northern League tournament, and sole league champs.
A loss would twist the standings with three teams tied for first. Incline would likely fall to the second seed.
But with the way the Highlanders (19-3, 14-1 Northern) are playing, Yerington (17-5, 12-2 Northern) is in trouble.
They won the first clash 61-22 and have only gotten better.
“We’re going into this final game and we’ve gotta win and get the No. 1 seed,” Winquest said. “That was our No. 1 goal to get the top seed, and after that we want to get the top seed going to state. Once you get there, any of the four teams can win. We want to keep that swagger and confidence, but not be overconfident.”