State Champs! Incline Village prevails over The Meadows School in Las Vegas | TahoeDailyTribune.com

State Champs! Incline Village prevails over The Meadows School in Las Vegas

The Incline Highlanders boys' basketball team won the 2018-19 state championship Saturday in Las Vegas.
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The Incline Highlanders are Nevada’s best.

The Highlanders beat The Meadows School 38-33 Saturday night at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas in the title game of the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association Class 2A State Basketball Championships.

Seniors Ian Smith scored 12 points and Johnny Redfern added 10 points to lead the offense and everybody took turns making big plays down the stretch to help the Highlanders earn the school’s fifth state crown.

Meadows opened with a 9-2 run in the first 5 minutes. The Mustangs began the game in a paralyzing zone that shut down Incline.

The Highlanders became accustomed to what they were seeing late in the first quarter and, in a span of 90 seconds, Liam Nolan-Bowers scored a basket and Redfern buried back-to-back 3-pointers and Incline led 10-9.

Meadows took an 11-10 after the first 8 minutes and would hold that lead into halftime even though Incline again took the advantage late in the quarter.

Ian Smith hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give a 16-15 lead and Nolan-Bowers converted a layup for an 18-17 lead.

The Highlanders went into halftime trailing 19-18.

Incline grabbed the lead for good midway through the third quarter.

Smith hit his third triple of the game and Nolan-Bowers scored again from close range off a clever dish from TT Valosek for a 25-23 lead.

Incline out-scored Meadows 10-4 in the period and led 28-23 going into the fourth.

Thirty seconds into the final frame, Brad Rye canned a baseline 3-pointer to push Incline’s lead to eight.

Meadows chipped away with six straight points over the next 4 minutes to get within 31-29, but Redfern responded with two free throws, a trend down the stretch for the Highlanders.

With Incline leading 33-31, Redfern made a big hustle play and blocked a shot when it looked for sure like the game would be tied with 1:46 left.

Smith hit two free throws and Valosek hit 3 of 4, including the last two that finished the scoring with 5 seconds left.

Incline (25-6) hit 7 of 8 free throws down the stretch.

After the final buzzer, the Highlanders stormed the court and celebrated.

They took photos and were awarded the championship trophy.

Smith added six rebounds, Nolan-Bowers finished with six points, six rebounds and three steals and Valosek scored seven points, hauled in five boards and dished four assists.