Incline boys hoopsters ready, excited for big weekend | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Incline boys hoopsters ready, excited for big weekend

Bill Rozak | brozak@tahoedailytribune.com
Incline freshman TT Valosek shoots a pull up jumper earlier this year against North Tahoe.
Bill Rozak / Tahoe Daily Tribune

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Incline head coach Tim Kelly is excited to watch his Highlanders compete this weekend.

The most important game on Incline’s schedule is Saturday afternoon against West Wendover.

Win and that could propel the Highlanders to a first Northern League championship in several years.

Lose and they likely have to focus on second place and have extra motivation if the teams should meet again in the regional playoffs.

It’s not a do-or-die game, but it’s big.

Incline also has to worry about overlooking White Pine on Friday night at home, a team it beat by 28 points in the first meeting, to West Wendover, a team it lost to by six points on the road.

“I haven’t been this excited in a long time,” Kelly said. “If you ask the guys, I’ve probably been different this week. We’re in no way looking past Friday, but we’re going to be as ready as we’ve ever been. We can’t wait to compete Saturday afternoon. To be in a competition like this, as a high school kid this is something you dream of.

“If we win this game, we’re putting ourselves in a position to win a league title and that would be the first one since I’ve been here.”

Kelly wasn’t at his team’s battle at West Wendover due to long-time plans to be at a friend’s wedding. He had two don’t-want-to-miss events on the same day and was crushed by not being there.

He is fired up for the rematch and he’s figuring there will be a large crowd Saturday with help from a special event at halftime.

Former basketball stars Bobby Anderson, class of 1982, and Mike McNulty, class of 1983, will be inducted into the Incline High School Hall of Fame during halftime of the boys’ game.

“The crowd’s going to be awesome,” Kelly said. “There’s going to be around 100 alums there to celebrate our Hall of Fame celebration. The two guys we are inducting, they could flat out play ball.”

Anderson was one of the greatest scorers in school history while McNulty was the school’s best-ever passers.

The played together in 1981 during what Kelly called one of the most famous stories he can remember.

The Highlanders traveled to Ely, Nev., for a game against White Pine. While there, the entire team along with its cheerleaders all got arrested for drinking and knocking over headstones in a graveyard, Kelly said.

For whatever reason, McNulty and Anderson did not make that trip and were the only two members left on the varsity team.

Following the boys’ game, there will be a fundraiser dinner starting at 6 p.m. at the Tahoe Biltmore. The cost is $50 per plate and all proceeds go to the Incline High School boys’ and girls’ programs.

The Highlanders (14-6, 8-1 2A Northern) enter Friday’s 7:30 p.m. game with White Pine (6-12, 3-7 Northern) on a three-game win streak after rolling Coral Academy of Science 68-26 Friday in Reno.

Freshman TT Valosek led the way with 16 points, Ian Smith added 11 and Johnny Redfern and freshman Brody Thralls each netted 10 points.

Redfern also dished five assists and made three steals and Liam Nolan-Bowers added nine points and Tyler Knight had five.

Saturday’s clash against West Wendover (16-3, 10-0 Northern) will tip-off at 2:30 p.m.

The Highlanders will also play a pair of games at home next week, Tuesday vs. Silver Stage (10-5, 6-3 Northern) and Thursday against Battle Mountain (9-10, 3-7 Northern).