Whittell girls b-ball loses to league-leading Pyramid Lake
ZEPHYR COVE — The Whittell girls basketball team delivered a solid performance against Pyramid Lake Tuesday night — but didn’t have enough to take down the team sitting atop the Div. IV West League. The Warriors lost to the Lakers 45-31, allowing the visitors to deliver their 10th consecutive win in league play.
“We played right with them — we executed, we were breaking their press and we ran out,” Warriors coach Tom Esposito said. “I wasn’t pleased with the result, but I was pleased with 80 percent of the game.”
Whittell (5-13, 3-6 IV West) aimed to use its overall team speed to upset the Lakers — and that strategy was effective early on. Four different Warriors scored in the first quarter, and WHS was with Pyramid Lake (12-5, 10-0) 10-10 after the opening eight minutes.
“We knew exactly what we were going to face, and we decided we better utilize our speed — we started off with five guards,” Esposito said. “We knew that we had to run — the only way to beat muscle is to outrun it.”
The Lakers broke free from that tie over the next two quarters led by the inside play of cen-ter Jakoby Stump. The 6-foot-2-inch sophomore scored 15 of her game-high 19 points in the second and third quarters as Pyramid Lake steadily built a lead — Whittell trailed 23-14 at halftime and was down by 18 points headed into the fourth quarter.
“In the second quarter we just weren’t making our shots — in the third quarter it was turn-overs,” Esposito said.
In the final frame, Whittell trailed by as many as 21 points before cutting into Pyramid Lake’s lead late. Tuesday’s game marked the first meeting between the teams on the court this season — the Warriors were forced to forfeit the first-round contest on Dec. 19 after their bus arrived late to Pyramid Lake’s gym.
Guard Samantha Forvilly led Whittell with 10 points in the loss — including two three-pointers. Guard Daria Sharon scored seven and guard Kelsey Kjer added six.
“We’re getting better — we just have to do it at practice,” Esposito said. “We’re not the hardest practicing team, and we need to take practice more seriously.”
For Pyramid Lake, Stump and point guard Tricia Christy scored combined for 35 of the team’s 45 points. Stump presented matchup problems for a Whittell team without a player taller than 5-foot-10-inch center Jordyn Becker, who drew the tough defensive assignment when the Warriors weren’t running a 1-3-1 zone.
“She’s a force,” Esposito said of the Lakers’ center. “Later in the game we were trying to front her and we couldn’t get around her — she’s that savvy.
“We tried to get in position and she wouldn’t let us — she just kept bumping us off.”
Whittell plays on the road Friday night against Excel Christian at 6 p.m. The Warriors re-turn home Saturday to face Smith Valley — tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.
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