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Near upset leaves Whittell with foul taste

Steve Yingling

Whittell High’s upset plan went afoul against Bishop Manogue on Friday night in Zephyr Cove.

A miscommunication between two officials and the scorer’s table saddled Whittell’s top gun, Dusty Apocotos, with his fourth foul before intermission. As a result, Apocotos missed the entire third period as Manogue escaped with a 51-39 Division II boys basketball victory.

Manogue held a shaky 31-27 halftime lead, but had to feel good about the Warriors’ foul problems. In addition to Apocotos’ four personals, Whittell’s other four starters had at least two fouls, including three each on guard Matt Raab and center Bobby Linkul.

“It was frustrating because they gypped me a foul,” Apocotos said. “The referees talked to them, but they said once it was in the book, they couldn’t change it.

“Once I got back in there, I was ice cold.”

Manogue took advantage of Apocotos’ absence, holding the Warriors to six third-quarter points, while padding its lead to nine, 42-33.

“We are not deep enough right now that we can have one of our starters or one of our major key players sitting on the bench,” said Warriors coach Steve Maltase. “If Dusty played that quarter, who knows? We could have been ahead or down by only five.”

Whittell never got closer than nine points in the fourth quarter and amazingly, none of the foul-plagued Warriors were disqualified.

Despite dropping to 1-1 in division play, the Warriors gained some confidence.

“I don’t think some guys on our team expected us to do this well,” said Raab, who led the Warriors with 11 points.

Whittell received an emotional lift before tip-off, when 6-3 junior James Putnam was cleared to play by his doctor. Putnam limped on a badly sprained ankle throughout, but along with injured teammate Linkul prevented Manogue from totally dominating the inside. Putnam scored nine points, but Manogue 6-4 senior forward Curtis Hardwick earned the interior bragging rights with a game-high 18.

“Both James and Bobby showed a lot of courage,” Maltase said. Linkul didn’t practice Wednesday or Thursday after rolling an ankle in practice.

Whittell led by as many as five points in the first eight minutes, but Manogue gained the upperhand with frequent visits to the free throw line. The Miners shot 31 free throws to the Warriors’ 14.

Sensing the upset opportunity slipping away, Maltase was assessed a technical foul when Apocotos was whistled for a charging foul on an inbound pass with 2:46 left before halftime. Maltase complained that Apocotos didn’t have room to come down after catching the pass and knocking over a Manogue player.

“I was out of my coaching box, and the ref told me, “You need to go sit down. And I go, ‘You can’t tell me I have to sit down,’ and then he gave me a T,” Maltase said.

Maltase’s technical foul precipitated an unusual response from a fan. After Nick Christiansen sank the first of two technical foul shots to put the Miners ahead 25-17, a young spectator ran out on the court and slapped the Manogue player on the bottom. He was removed from the gymnasium.

The strange events seemed to fire up the Warriors, who went on a 7-1 spurt to close within 26-24 with :50 remaining in the half. Putnam had four points during the rally.

Whittell, 2-10 overall, continues division play with a 4:30 p.m. game Tuesday at Incline.

Manogue cruised in the junior varsity contest, 85-41. Avery Norman led Whittell, 9-7, with 15 points.

Lindsay Wines gave her Whittell High girls basketball team an “E” for effort, but Bishop Manogue handed the Warriors an “L” on Friday night in Zephyr Cove.

Jen Beairsto scored 20 points and Emily Brown 14 as the Miners defeated the determined Warriors 61-38 in a Nevada 3A Division II game.

“I don’t think the score is indicative of how hard my kids played,” Wines said.

Whittell sliced a 20-point third-quarter deficit to 13 points by the end of the period. During the Warrior comeback, Sarah Sufka continually broke the Manogue full-court press by herself, setting up good scoring opportunities in the half court. Sufka had six points, including four at the foul line, as Whittell pulled to within 43-30 after three quarters.

However, the Miners rediscovered their transition game and outscored the Warriors 15-2 to open the fourth quarter.

Sufka led the Warriors with 13 points and Caitlin Fagan added 11. Aurora Terry grabbed five defensive boards for the Warriors.

Whittell, 1-7 overall and 0-2 in Division II, travels to Incline for a 3 p.m. game Tuesday.


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