It was a great start for the White Pine High girls basketball team. You just can’t do any better than 5-0 in your first outings of the year.
That’s what the Lady Bobcats did at the Serpent Classic in Hawthorne last weekend. And they did it in fairly convincing fashion except for one game, against the Hug JVs from Reno.
No individual stats were available for any White Pine players.
The girls stomped on the Virginia City Muckers in their first game by a 68-8 count, one of the widest spreads in any game in recent memory. “We did a really good job of running our offense that game,” said first-year Bobcat coach Justin Locke.”Against league rival Battle Mountain, also on Thursday, the girls were able to get a few key steals in the fourth quarter Locke said, to earn a 47-38 win. Sruti Bhakta had 14 points to lead the Longhorns.
“We did a pretty good job on both sides of the ball. Eva Kingston was the leader for us this game, as well as each of the other games. She is like the quarterback to our offense.”On Friday, White Pine first played Smith Valley. “This one was closer than the score, 50-30, indicates,” Locke said.
“The Bulldogs came out ready to play and scrappy they were, and had the lead for most of the first half. We were not ready that first half.”
In the second half, Locke said the Ladycats came out early, hit some shots “and kind of put that away pretty quick. It was our best game at the beginning.”The second game on Friday was against the 3A Hug Hawks. “One of the most ridiculous games I think I have ever coached,” he said. “We started on a 16-1 run and ahead 25-4 at one point in the first half. Then they went on a 20-10 run on us to close the half.”
Hug sophomore Emily Queahpama scored 28 points, including nine three pointers. “It didn’t matter what or where from she put it up, it was going in. She had a running layup that starts at the 3-point line and it would always go in.
Our defensive specialist, Lily Fullmer, was doing all she could to tame that girl.” He said Hug, “kept making runs at us in the second half, but we were able to run our offense and pull out a 49-44 win. At first, I thought it was going to be a pretty easy win, but instead it turned into a shootout.” Locke said Taylor Redfern from Incline is a similar player to Oueahpama, “One who can shoot from anywhere.”
The final game at the Serpent Classic was with Pershing County, the team White Pine beat in the first round of the league playoffs last year.
He said, “They always come ready to play us, but they are not very big, and I thought if we just fed our posts, Madison Rick and Brittany Kingston, to start we could get out to a quick lead. But they did a fair job on our posts and we had to have some outside shots to keep us ahead. It was tougher than it might have looked, still our best game on both offense and defense.”
This Friday and Saturday, the Ladycats are at the Snake Pit Classic at Beaver Dam High School in Littlefield, Arizona, and Mesquite, with Beaver Dam, Indian Springs, and Beatty.