Whittell boys b-ball rolls past Pyramid Lake 59-25 | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Whittell boys b-ball rolls past Pyramid Lake 59-25

Anthony Gentile
Whittell forward Troy Libert puts up a shot over a Pyramid Lake defender in the Warriors’ 59-25 win over the Lakers Tuesday night. Libert started and scored two points in the win.
Anthony Gentile / Tahoe Daily Tribune |

ZEPHYR COVE — The Whittell boys basketball team had no problems Tuesday night against a team that had given it recent fits. The Warriors downed Pyramid Lake 59-25 at home, bouncing back from their first league loss of the season with an emphatic win.

“The key may have been losing to Virginia City — that put a little more sense of urgency into the players,” Warriors head coach Phil Bryant said.

Whittell (16-2, 8-1 IV West) showed it was comfortable playing against the Lakers’ deliberate style from the outset. The Warriors scored the first 13 points of the game and had a 16-2 lead after the first eight minutes — guard Palmer Chaplin hit a three-pointer just before the buzzer to punctuate a dominant first quarter.

“After the fast start and them missing shots, their players’ body language went down,” Bryant said.

After Pyramid Lake (5-12, 2-7) scored the first points of the second quarter, Whittell went on an 11-0 run to extend its lead. The Warriors opened up a commanding 32-11 advantage by halftime.

Whittell wasn’t threatened in the second half as it rolled to victory over the Lakers. The Warriors were ahead by 26 points after three quarters and led by as many as 38 in the fourth on the way to a decisive win.

Chaplin scored a game-high 25 points in the victory — including 19 in the first half. Forward Quinn Kixmiller finished with 12 points, while guards Colin Buchholz and Bryce Bronken added seven points apiece.

For Pyramid Lake, forward Allen Tostey scored a team-high nine points while guard Evan Nuanes and forward AJ Wasson each finished with six. Whittell entered Tuesday night’s game with a 2-1 record against the Lakers over the past two seasons — all games decided by five points or less.

“As I went back over my notes from past games against them, they had trouble when we played man-to-man,” Bryant said. “We didn’t really use an aggressive press — just more of a control-and-contain type of thing, and then double everything in the half court.

“They want a game in the 40s — they can win a game that’s in the 40s.”

The Warriors inserted two typical reserves into their starting lineup against Pyramid Lake — guard Dismas Womack and forward Troy Libert. Womack earned the start with a strong defensive performance against Virginia City and Libert started to gain familiarity with Whittell’s first team.

“We have all these guys that are varsity-level players and they need to make varsity-level contributions,” Bryant said. “All the way around it’s going to help our depth for the stretch run.”

Whittell plays on the road Friday night against Excel Christian at 7:30 p.m. The Warriors return home Saturday to face Smith Valley — tipoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.

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