Whittell girls b-ball falls to Loyalton 73-34 | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Whittell girls b-ball falls to Loyalton 73-34

Anthony Gentile
Whittell sophomore Jannia Castro passes in front of a Loyalton defender in the Warriors’ nonleague contest against the Grizzlies on Saturday, Jan. 30.
Anthony Gentile / Tahoe Daily Tribune |

ZEPHYR COVE — The Whittell girls basketball team couldn’t reverse an earlier result against a challenging Northern California opponent Saturday, Jan. 30, but showed improvement in defeat. The Warriors fell to Loyalton (Calif.) 73-34 at home, losing to tough opposition with an important league stretch on the horizon.

“We talked about gauging ourselves as far as how we did the first time against them versus how we did this time,” Warriors coach Tom Esposito said. “We’ve definitely improved since the first time we played them.”

Whittell (6-13) faced a 39-19 deficit at halftime Saturday, and let the game get away in the third quarter. Loyalton (14-2) outscored the Warriors 18-3 in the third quarter and had a commanding 35-point lead headed into the fourth quarter.

In the John Holland Classic on Dec. 4, the Grizzlies won the first meeting between the teams 60-25. Whittell kept Saturday’s game competitive for a longer stretch, but ultimately couldn’t slow the CIF Northern Section Div. 6 opposition currently atop the Pioneer Mountain League.

“We have to learn from our mistakes and we have to improve,” Esposito said. “We just have to get better and not repeat the same thing over and over again.”

The Warriors began an important league stretch at Mineral County on Monday, Feb. 1, in a game moved back three days due to weather issues. Whittell played at Coleville on Tuesday, Feb. 2, as part of a stretch of four Div. IV West League games in a six-day span.

“This is the pivot point right here,” Esposito said. “If we’re going to get close to the playoffs, we have to take these two games and five out of the next seven.”

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