Valosek jumper lifts Incline past Democracy Prep in state semifinals
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — TT Valosek hit the go ahead shot with 38 seconds left then muscled down a rebound in traffic with 5 seconds left to help Incline Village edge Democracy Prep 61-57 Friday afternoon in the state 2A semifinals.
Valosek hit a contested 17-footer to give the Highlanders a 59-57 lead which also halted a 7-0 surge from Democracy Prep who rallied back from a 57-50 deficit.
A Democracy Prep 3-pointer bounced off the rim and Valosek grabbed the rebound amid three Blue Knights and was fouled with 5.5 seconds to go. He hit one free throw but Jared Hock was there to pull down the offensive board with 3 seconds and added another free throw to ice the game.
The Highlanders nearly got run out the building early in the first half and didn’t take the lead until 1:52 was left in the third quarter.
Democracy Prep scored the game’s first 10 points and led 14-3 before Incline rallied to get within seven (16-9) after the first quarter.
Valosek, who scored a game-high 23 points, scored seven of Incline’s nine points in the opening frame.
Democracy Prep pushed its lead to 16 points, 30-14, in the second quarter before Incline’s bench provided a spark and finished the half on a 10-0 run.
Incline’s sixth man James DeMarais drilled a 3-pointer and hit two free throws on back-to-back possession and Tommy Williams capped the first half scoring with a long bomb from beyond the arc.
Democracy Prep put Incline on its heels to start the third quarter by scoring seven points in the first 90 seconds for a 37-24 lead before Incline Head Coach Tim Kelly called a timeout.
After the timeout the Highlanders switched to a zone defense that paralyzed the Blue Knights who managed just two more points over the last 6:30 of the third period.
Incline chipped away and grabbed its first lead when Williams, a freshman, hit a difficult, short fall away under immense pressure.
Williams, who Democracy Prep was guarding 35 feet away from the basket due to his long range ability, drove to the basket with a defender draped all over him. He stopped, fell away and tossed in a short jumper for a 40-39 lead.
Incline held the lead for almost the entire fourth quarter, building a 57-50 lead with 2:26 left. But Democracy prep went on a 7-0 run to tie it with 54 seconds left to set up Valosek’s clutch shot.
Williams scored 13 points and grabbed six rebounds for Incline and DeMarais added 12 points, Luc Casini had eight and Hock five.
The Highlanders will play the top seed from the south, The Meadows School, who ran roughshod over the defending state champs West Wendover 66-31, at 1 p.m. Saturday for the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association 2A championship.
The Highlanders also own a big 83-49 win over Wendover earlier in the year and beat them three times in all.
All state tournament games can be streamed live on the NFHS Network at https://www.nfhsnetwork.com.
For those attending the tournament, tickets are $12 for adults, $5 for students (high school age and younger) and free for those 8 and under and are good for all games at a site on the given day. Tickets are available through HomeTown Ticketing or by visiting niaa.com/tickets.
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