When the White Pine High School Ladycats found themselves in a close 24-24 game at halftime against Agassi Prep on Saturday at home, coach Krystal Smith turned to something that has been working all year, the press defense.
“The press turned the tables so to speak. We were able to capitalize on their errors and make a good run in the third quarter,” Smith said, crediting the team’s ability to change up their pace at half time.
The Ladycats didn’t look back from there, winning their final home game of the season 68-50.
But the work is not over for the Ladycats (23-2) who will play in the first round of the division tournament in Las Vegas on Friday at 3 p.m. against one of the only teams that beat them this year, Lincoln.
In preparation for Friday’s game, coach Smith said she has been working her team hard to correct the little mistakes, such as missed free throws.
“We know that we need to improve our free throw percentage, which has been a focus of ours for the last few weeks,” the coach said.
And the Ladycats are not the only team that run a solid press defense. Breaking through that with minimal turnovers will be another key to the tournament game, Smith said.
“We have been practicing handling the ball and taking on the pressures that they will put against us,” the coach continued.
The Ladycats suffered their first loss of the season at the hands of the Lynx in a close 40-37 game on the road on Jan. 10. Ten days later, the Ladycats turned the tables on their home court and beat the Lynx 50-41.
A win against the Lynx on Friday on a neutral court inside Spring Valley High School would secure the Ladycats a birth in the state tournament at The Orleans Arena in Las Vegason Feb. 26-27.
The boys basketball team fought hard on the road against West Wendover, narrowly losing the game 64-61. The Bobcat’s final home game of the season also came against Agassi Prep, who’s boys team has not lost a game all season. Agassi went on to win the Saturday game 85-28. The Bobcat’s first year head coach Charlie Hall finished the season with a 3-13 league record and 3-20 overall.
The Lund High School girl’s basketball team dominated in their final regular season game on the road, beating Word of Life Christian Academy 36-6. The win brings the Mustangs to 5-4 in league play, which is good enough to earn them a spot in the Division IV Southern League divisional tournament. The Mustangs faced Tonopah in the first round of the tournament on Wednesday evening in Tonopah, though the results were not available as of press time.