Incline Village boys plan to vie for state title, make up for lost time
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Incline Village has played in two consecutive state championship basketball games, winning once, but entering this season the Highlanders have just one player with any varsity experience.
The coronavirus pandemic forced the basketball season to be canceled last year and that has led to a team loaded with seniors that do not have any hoops experience above the junior varsity level.
That one player with experience, TT Valosek, may be the best in the state.
The 6-foot-3, 205-pounder has played, and starred, on the varsity team since he was a freshman.
Valosek averaged 20 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals per game during the 2019-20 season, his sophomore year. He helped lead the Highlanders to the state title in 2018-19 where he averaged 16 points and five rebounds per game.
“We’re led by the best player in the state who is enjoying being a senior,” said Highlanders head Coach Tim “TK” Kelly. “He’s a scary player. If he’s having fun, there’s nobody better.”
Kelly can hardly contain his excitement for this year’s squad. He says Vaolsek is not the only star on the team and that he has a strong group that’s physical and athletic.
And he says freshman Tommy Williams (6-0) is an up-and-coming Valosek type player. Williams also starred on the Highlanders football team this fall and had maybe his strongest game in the playoffs where he intercepted two passes.
“Tommy, his dad is my assistant coach, but he is an exciting player, and he can score,” Kelly said. “Tommy has the ability to be like TT. We have two people that can get baskets in bunches.”
Kelly ran down his roster and it feels like an all-star team.
Senior Jared Hock (6-0) who could’ve easily played on varsity when he was a sophomore, but the Highlanders were stacked and he became MVP of the junior varsity team.
Junior Nick Suter (6-0) was the Highlanders football quarterback and is one of the best athletes in the school.
Senior Kade Martinez (6-1) was a football captain and played multiple positions.
Other seniors include Shane Green (5-11), Ben Rock (6-2), Dylan Combs (6-0), Trey Casini (6-3), and Andrew Bilotti (6-7).
Juniors include Luc Casini (6-4) and Marcos Resendiz (6-0).
The Highlanders did lose Brody Thralls who was a star sophomore to relocation, but Kelly says the players he has more than makes up for the loss.
“We have a bunch of dudes that can play and our expectations are high again this year,” Kelly said.
The Highlanders tip off their season Friday at a preseason tournament and have four games scheduled through Saturday at Mineral County High School. They play Virginia City and Mineral County on Friday and Bishop Union and defending 3A champ Churchill County on Saturday.
“We’re excited to be playing again and that excitement is being together and playing basketball,” Kelly said. “We missed a huge time we could have spent together last year. What we could have accomplished … But I’m so intrigued with how good we can be this year.”
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