Incline boys get some revenge against Yerington in league opener
Incline’s 10 seniors earned a bit of revenge earlier this week against Yerington.
The Lions defeated Incline three times a year ago, including twice in Northern League play and in the first round of the playoffs.
The Highlanders went on the road Tuesday and broke open a fairly close game in the fourth quarter to crunch the Lions, 60-32, in their league opener.
“I could not be more excited how we opened league,” said Highlanders head coach Tim Kelly. “Winning on the road, especially at Yerington, is huge. We made a gigantic statement. When we defend like we did we are very hard to beat. To hold Yerington to 32 points was the goal and our guys achieved it together.”
Senior Johnny Redfern and freshman TT Valosek each scored 15 points, Liam Nolan-Bowers added eight points and a career-high 14 rebounds and Ian Smith netted nine points, grabbed nine rebounds and dished three assists to lead Incline to its sixth win in seven games this season, and a victory in its league opener. Valosek added eight rebounds and five assists and Redfern hit a pair of 3s and had four dimes.
“Liam Nolan-Bowers was a monster again and just dominated the paint,” Kelly said. “TT and Johnny were huge on the offensive side. Finally, Ian is turning into the best leader Incline High has seen in a long time. He didn’t shoot it the way he wants but his stat line speaks for itself.
“I am just so excited that these guys pride themselves on defense,” Kelly added. “They dominated the rebounding battle and they were all over the court. Awesome first league game.”
Yerington last year finished a game ahead of Incline in the league standings by winning all three head-to-head games, 97-94, 49-37 and 82-59 in the playoffs.
The league-opening win came on the heels of the Highlanders playing five games in four days at the Whittell Invitational last week into the weekend.
Incline wore a path in highways 28 and 50 after commuting to Zephyr Cove and made the drive around Lake Tahoe worth it by winning four.
The Highlanders won their first four contests but didn’t have anything left in the gas tank for the last game in the Whittell Invitational.
“It was an awesome week for the boys,” Kelly said. “I’m very excited for the heart and passion we showed.”
The Highlanders had layup drills in their first two games, a 67-28 win Wednesday over Owyhee and a 77-13 drubbing of Pyramid Lake on Thursday.
They earned a thrilling 59-57 victory Friday, Dec. 7, over Mineral County and earned their fourth win in four days with a 69-30 win over Eureka.
About two hours after playing Eureka, the Highlanders lost 59-40 to Ashland, of Oregon.
Valosek led the team with 83 points over the five games, including 29 with eight rebounds in the narrow victory over Mineral.
“Friday night’s game was the game of the tournament against a very good and undefeated Mineral County team,” Kelly said. “It was a flat out war that showed all of us how good we really can be.”
Also for Incline (6-1), Smith scored 60 points, with a high of 17 against Eureka, Tyler Knight added 33 points, Brad Rye scored 24 points, 11 against Owyhee, Redfern had 24 points and Nolan-Bowers had 24 points, including a 10-point, 10-rebound effort in the loss to Ashland.
Incline made 41 3-pointers over the five games, including 12 against Eureka.
The Highlanders will host Coral Academy at 7:30 p.m. Friday and that game will be a fundraiser 1995 graduate Delayne Stoneman and her husband Eric Watchmeister who lost everything this year in the Camp Fire in Northern California.