Ely Times Staff Writer
After three quarters, it looked like the White Pine High girls basketball team was going to go down to the wire against the Pershing County Mustangs Friday night. It had been a back and fourth game up until that point, with each team going on scoring streaks to trade off the lead.
However the Ladycats were outscored 18-9 in the final quarter to lose 53-40 to the Mustangs.
“It seemed like the wheels just kind of fell off,” Coach Krystal Smith said.
The disappointing final eight minutes served as a reminder that the Ladycats, despite their success this season, have struggled toward the end of games. Taking a lesson from that, Smith said her and the team needed to work on finishing games and playing a complete four quarters.
Apparently it just took sleeping on it to learn their lesson.
The Ladycats beat Battle Mountain, 50-39, at home on Saturday. Smith said she was pleased with the team’s effort in every quarter.
“We talked about being ready to come out and play,” Smith said. “They are a pretty tough team but overall I was pleased with our defensive rebounding. It was a good team effort.”
One Ladycat Smith pointed to making a difference was Ashlyn Huntington. With 14 points, Huntington lead the team in scoring on Saturday, sinking a pair of critical three pointers to hold off the Longhorns. She also was the only player score in double digits in their loss to Pershing County.
“She really stepped for us. She has really found her shot,” Smith said.
Another contributing factor to Saturday’s win was the Ladycats’ effectiveness from the free throw line. Foul shots were a serious problem for the team at the beginning of the season, Smith admits, saying it “couldn’t have been much worse,” but that the coaching staff has worked hard in practice to come up with game-like situations to better prepare.
“Trying to shoot free throws in practice, we try and emulate game situations,” Smith said. “We shoot free throws when their legs are tired or it’s a game tied situation in practice. It’s better than just shooting free throws just to shoot. It’s just another small piece in the puzzle where we want to win the battle at the free throw line.”
The win puts the team in third place in the division with a 9-4 record.