Special to The Ely Times

The first half was close in both games for the White Pine High boys basketball team last week, but the second game at Incline they faltered in the second half. They won at North Tahoe 61-50, but lost at Incline 51-38.“Both days we actually did not shoot the ball very well,” said coach Terrall Trask, “and that was our killer on Saturday at Incline. We only shot 24 percent from the floor. Just couldn’t get the ball to go in the hoop, even the close in 1-footers. We did play hard both days, especially on the defensive side.”

At North Tahoe (5-12, 1-7), the Bobcats trailed 31-29 at half, but turned it around to outscore the Lakers 32-19 in the second half.

At Incline (6-10, 3-3), again they trailed at half 23-20, but could not turn it in their favor the second half, being outscored 27-18 in the loss. “The boys were working real hard, but seemed like anything I tried just wouldn’t go in the hole,” Trask said.

So this weekend’s road trip to league-leader Pershing County (20-2, 9-0) and Battle Mountain (13-7, 4-5), will be of paramount importance. Important because the Longhorns lost to Yerington (12-8, 5-3) last week and still have home games with West Wendover (15-5, 8-2) and Pershing County. Therefore, a win by the Bobcats at Battle Mountain Trask thinks could possibly give the team “more of a fighting chance” at the fourth seed playoff spot.

White Pine suffered a close loss, 59-50, to Battle Mountain Jan. 7. However, before that the Bobcats (8-10, 5-6), have their second meeting with Pershing County in Lovelock. “They can shoot, and are good disciplined, athletic kids,” said Trask. The Mustangs won the first game 69-44 Jan. 6. William McKinney-Gattrell had six three pointers and finished with 29 points to lead Pershing County.

The Incline Highlander’s also have tough road games coming up, at West Wendover, Yerington and Battle Mountain.

The four-team 2A Northern league tournament is Feb. 17-18 at Lowery High in Winnemucca.

Trask said Dakota Barela is playing good defense for the Bobcats. “He always is a defensive threat, able to lock down the main scorers and keeps them from simply taking over the game.

Colin Brewster has been my floor leader lately and Saxtyn Brewster also stepped up for us on the road trip, giving me some hard fought minutes of solid defense, and Sam Steward hit some big shots in the second half to pull us ahead in the North Tahoe game.”

The Cats have a non-league game at Pahranagat Valley (19-2) on Tuesday.