Warriors stay atop Mount Rose standings
Two games into its Mount Rose League season, the Whittell High girls’ basketball team is not playing like one of the smallest schools in the new league.
The Whittell girls’ pulled off the front end of an unexpected sweep of crosstown rival South Tahoe on Tuesday night, winning 43-31 in South Lake Tahoe. The Whittell boys completed the sweep with a 36-33 upset of the Vikings later on Tuesday night.
Sophomore guard Sierra Forvilly triggered the MRL victory with 14 points, including four clutch free throws in final period.
“It’s really good because of the big rivalry with South Tahoe,” said Forvilly, whose team improved to 2-0 and stayed in a first-place MRL tie with Truckee. “We hustled more (in the fourth quarter.”
The teams entered the fourth quarter knotted at 24, but Whittell dominated the final eight minutes with their extended 2-3 zone defense and transition offense.
“We started out with the press and when we started getting tired, our half-court (defense) messed with their heads because they started turning the ball over,” Forvilly said.
Sisters Emily and Amanda Harris each contributed 10 points for the Warriors.
South Tahoe was topped by Brooke King’s eight points and seven from Alex Reber.
After Reber tied the score at 24 on a three-pointer with 42 seconds left in the third period, South Tahoe went into the final period with momentum on its side. Brooke King swished a 15-foot shot to put South Tahoe ahead 26-24, but then the Warriors took over.
Megan Mize hit a turnaround four-foot shot to tie the score, and Amanda Harris’ reverse layup put Whittell on top for good, 28-26. Forvilly’s six fourth-quarter points and an assist fueled a 17-2 tear by the Warriors.
“When Sierra gets pounded she steps up her game to the highest level,” said Whittell coach Tom Esposito. “You get her mad and you are in trouble.”
Even when the Vikings managed to stifle the run with a bucket, the Warriors’ answered with Emily Harris’ three-point basket.
Reber sank a trifecta in the final minute, but by then Whittell had secured the win.
“We were tired and weren’t thinking as well as we were at the beginning,” said STHS senior Angel Aquino.
South Tahoe overcame a slow start – only four points in the first period – with a 12-point second period. King scored all six of her first-half points in a second period that saw the Vikings slice Whittell’s lead to 18-16 at the half.
“The bottom line is they wanted it more,” said STHS coach Chris Holmes. “They really outworked us there at the end. At that one point where it got to where the girls thought, ‘Hey we’re going to lose,’ instead of sucking it up and getting composed, they just kind of lost it.”
Whittell (2-0 league) will battle Truckee (2-0) for first place in the MRL on Friday night in Zephyr Cove. South Tahoe (1-2) will play host to Incline (1-0) on Friday night.
Mount Rose League girls’ basketball standings
South Tahoe 1-2
North Tahoe 0-2
Jan. 13 game
Incline 48, Sparks 35
Whittell 38, North Tahoe 27
Truckee 44, South Tahoe 19
Whittell 43, South Tahoe 31
Truckee 58, North Tahoe 14