Warriors optimistic about chances on court
By Jeremy Evans
Tribune staff writer
Although the Whittell High girls’ basketball team has only two playoff victories in 19 years, it appears second-year coach Nathan Tolbert has reason to be optimistic about the Warriors getting at least a third playoff victory this season.
Tolbert welcomes back six returners – three seniors and three juniors – from last year’s 10-13 squad. But he also adds two potentially key sophomores in Jessica Woods and Kelly Karmann, players he believes now makes Whittell one of the early favorites in the Northern 2A
“I’m pretty excited,” Tolbert said. “We’ve got a pretty good team. I would have to say that we are going to be a contender. We’re just a little short-handed. We only have eight girls on varsity. So as long as we don’t have any injuries or eligibility problems, we should be all right.”
Tolbert said it would be hard to predict who would be the team’s leading scorer but that senior Ariana Rodriguez and junior Tara Scaduto should be the league’s two premier defensive stoppers. Last season, the duo held Battle Mountain star Tera Tremayne, who averaged over 25 points per game, to only five points in one game against the Warriors. Tolbert said he’d probably vary his starting lineup.
“The thing is it will depend on who we play,” Tolbert said. “We have good players all the way around. Tara was probably the best defensive player in the league.”
Seniors Whitney Gielow and Kaitlin Green and juniors Katrina Kacirek and Sarah Ingenluyff will provide even more added experience in the Warriors’ lineup. The team’s most formidable opponents this season will again be Lovelock and Battle Mountain. The top two finishers in the Northern 2A playoffs advance to the state tournament.
The Mustangs, who won both the league and zone titles last year, return three starters, including all-league performer Felicia Booth. The Longhorns, meanwhile, return Tremayne from last year’s state championship team. The 5-foot-8 junior averaged 24.4 ppg as a freshman at Austin High before transferring to Battle Mountain as a sophomore.
Whittell finished third in the Northern 2A last season, then posted its first playoff win in 18 years with a 44-41 victory over West Wendover in the first round of the zone playoffs. Before that, the Warriors hadn’t won a postseason game since a first-round win over Hawthorne in 1986.
“From what I saw last year, the best teams were from the North,” Tolbert said. “I would say the top four teams in the North were better than any of the teams down South. So I’m going to guess it’s going to be the same way this year. Lovelock and Battle Mountain were clearly the best two teams.”
Whittell opens the season at noon on Saturday at South Tahoe, then hosts North Tahoe on Monday at 6:30 p.m. in Zephyr Cove. Two teams left the Northern 2A from last season. Incline moved up to 3A, while West Wendover moved to the Southern 2A.
“Saturday is just a great thing for us,” Tolbert said. “If we lose, well then we lost to a 4A school. If we win, it’s all gravy. As you can see, I’m really excited.”
Whittell Girls Basketball
Saturday at South Tahoe 2:30 p.m.
Nov. 29 NORTH TAHOE 6 p.m.
Dec. 3-4 Coleville Tournament TBA
Dec. 7 at Coleville 6 p.m.
Dec. 9 at North Tahoe 6 p.m.
Dec. 20 at Sparks 1:30 p.m.
Dec. 27-29 Nevada Classic TBA
Jan. 5 at Smith Valley 6 p.m.
Jan. 7 BATTLE MOUNTAIN 6 p.m.
Jan. 11 SMITH VALLEY 6 p.m.
Jan. 14 LOVELOCK 6 p.m.
Jan. 15 at Hawthorne 6 p.m.
Jan. 18 SILVER STAGE 6 p.m.
Jan. 28 at Battle Mountain 6 p.m.
Feb. 1 COLEVILLE 6 p.m.
Feb. 4 at Lovelock 6 p.m.
Feb. 5 HAWTHORNE 4 p.m.
Feb. 8 at Silver Stage 6 p.m.
Feb. 17-19 Northern 2A Playoffs TBA
Feb. 25-26 2A State Championships TBA
Note: Home games are capitalized.