Incline takes fight to Battle Mountain in dominant victory
The Highlanders drove half way across the state and brought the fight to Battle Mountain.
TT Valosek was unstoppable, Ian Smith found his shooting touch, Tyler Knight was dialed in from deep, Liam Nolan-Bowers controlled the glass and Incline rolled past the Longhorns, 66-37, on Friday, Dec. 21, to stay unbeaten in the Northern League.
“Friday night was a statement game for our guys,” said Highlanders coach Tim Kelly. “They came out fired up and never let up. We made it very hard for Battle Mountain to score and we flat out flew around on both sides of the ball.”
Valosek, a freshman, led all scorers with 20 points. He hit all six of his free throw attempts and also dished three assists.
Smith scored 13 points, including three 3-pointers. He also grabbed five rebounds, made three steals and assisted on three buckets.
Knight netted 11 points — nine came on three shots from beyond the arc — and also grabbed five rebounds.
Nolan-Bowers had a monster night, recording a career-high 14 rebounds. He also pitched in six points and made a block.
“Liam owned the boards and TT was just too much offensively,” Kelly said. “Tyler Knight hit huge shots again, Ian got himself going a little bit and Johnny (Redfern) and Brad (Rye) were big time defensively. The guys were very driven to start Christmas break undefeated in league and they accomplished goal No. 1 as a unit.”
Incline freshman Brody Thralls added seven points, four assists and three steals.
Valosek and Smith are having good seasons so far and are the top two players in most statistical categories.
Valosek is averaging almost 16 points per game, 5.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.2 steals and Smith is scoring 11.7 per game with 4.9 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.5 steals. Nolan-Bowers is cleaning the glass at an average of nine boards per contest.
The Highlanders (9-1, 4-0 Northern) have won four straight and are competing Dec. 26-29 at the Mt. Carmel Holiday Classic in San Diego.
“I couldn’t be happier to start Christmas break,” Kelly said. “We are excited about San Diego and the tough competition we will face.”
The Highlanders start 2019 with a clash at Reno and get back into league play with consecutive road games Jan. 4-5 at White Pine and West Wendover.
Their next home game will be a Lake Tahoe battle against rival North Tahoe Tuesday, Jan. 8, in Incline Village.
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In “Powder Days,“ author Heather Hansman looks at past, present and very uncertain future of ski town life.