Warriors showing signs of coming to life
The Whittell High girls’ basketball team is showing signs of coming to life for the remainder of the Northern 2A League season.
Whittell’s Amanda Harris and Lauren Marshall held Battle Mountain’s high-scoring Jordan Waugh to 10 points in a 44-32 defeat to the Longhorns on Saturday afternoon in Zephyr Cove.
The Warriors trimmed a 12-point halftime deficit to eight points in the third quarter but couldn’t get any closer against the Longhorns (12-4 overall, 4-0 in league).
Whittell coach Tom Esposito employed a box-and-one defense against Waugh, giving freshmen Harris and Marshall, a recent call-up from the JV team, the assignment of denying Waugh the ball. Waugh poured in 26 points in a 62-37 victory at Silver Stage on Friday night.
They did their part, but the Warriors couldn’t overcome 21 first-half turnovers.
“They were pressuring us with a soft press,” Esposito said. “We should have been able to break it. We just didn’t get it together until the second half when we had only seven turnovers.”
The Warriors played the game without sophomore Nina Jimenez, who is recovering from a sprained ankle. Whittell senior post Isabel Concha-Foley had 11 points and 13 rebounds, and senior point guard Gabriella Tracy hit a season-high 11 points.
“Gabby is starting to shoot earlier in the game. She’s starting to knock down some shots, and that’s going to help us a ton,” Esposito said.
Harris delivered her best game of the season, according to Esposito. She had five points and seven rebounds to go along with her strong defensive effort on Waugh. Whittell (0-3 league, 3-10 overall) plays at North Tahoe on Friday and at Silver Stage on Saturday.
First-half deficit buries WHS
The Whittell boys struggled offensively in the first half and were unable to complete a rally in a 57-48 defeat to Battle Mountain on Saturday in Zephyr Cove.
Battle Mountain led 30-15 at halftime and held off a rejuvinated Warriors’ squad in the second half. The Warriors outscored the Longhorns 33-27 after the break, but the huge first-half deficit was too much to overcome.
“We came out stagnant in the first quarter,” said Whittell coach Tyler Rose, whose team fell behind by 13 points in the first eight minutes. “We had a lack of communication and a lack of energy coming out.
“In the second half we realized that in playing from behind that we needed to pick up our energy. We were able to force the tempo more, and they took some bad shots and made some turnovers.”
Whittell (1-12 overall, 0-4 league) was scheduled to play a nonleague game against Portola on Tuesday, but the game was postponed to a later date. The Warriors will conclude the week with road league games at North Tahoe on Friday and at Silver Stage on Saturday.
“A win would build their confidence,” Rose said. “This week gives us an opportunity to get one or two league wins, and we are planning to utilize a few things to help us get over the hump.”
Senior Cody Nelson led the Warriors with 12 points, junior John Robinson added 11 points and Michael Koskin scored nine.