Courtesy photo/Dave Maxwell
Lily Fulmer and Hailey Ernest trap an opponent in the corner in recent game.  The Lady Bobcats play at Incline and North Tahoe this weekend.

The White Pine High girls basketball team remains unbeaten at 14-0 heading into the new year and league play. It’s one of the best start the team has had since 2014-15 when they began 13-0 before losing by three points at Lincoln County. The team finished 25-2 that  year and won their first state title since 2005.

As league play opened last weekend, the girls had an exciting win over Pershing County and a blowout drubbing of Battle Mountain.

White Pine prevailed in a close game over the Mustangs, 45-40, Friday night.

Bobcat coach Justin Locke said his team had an early 10-point lead in the first half, but in the second half Pershing County began to chip away steadily at the deficit, eventually taking a one-point lead.

“Late in the game, Madi Rick had missed a layup, lost the rebound, but stole the ball and scored to regain the lead,” Locke said. “We then held them off for the win.”

Rick had 16 points to lead the Ladycats. Taryn Houston had 16 for Pershing County and Sydney Jensen added 10 points.

Against Battle Mountain Saturday afternoon, the Ladycats were challenged quite a bit in the first half, Locke said, and only held a 16-14 lead at the break.

“They (Battle Mountain) did a really good job of frustrating us on defense, switching back and forth from man-to-man to zone and we were not shooting really well.”

But after making halftime adjustments, the Bobcat defense limited the Longhorns to only eight points, and the scoring came to life to outscore the Longhorns 23-8 for a 40-22 win.

Rick led White Pine with 14 points, five of nine from the floor, and Brittany Kingston had 12 points shooting 6-of-11 in addition to getting 12 rebounds.

The Longhorns Sruti Bhakta who had 14 points in a game between the teams at the Serpent Classic in Hawthorne after Thanksgiving, was held to only four points this game, shooting just 1-of-16 from the floor. Battle Mountain was 2-of-8 at the foul line. The Ladycats were 5-of-7.

Both were important wins for the girls, as they are the league leaders followed closely now by Battle Mountain (3-1, 10-4) and Pershing County (2-1, 10-4).

On Tuesday, the girls played at West Wendover and won handily 46-17.

This  weekend will be on the road for games at fourth-place Incline and seventh-place North Tahoe.

All are important noted coach Justin Locke, as the 2A Northern league expands to six teams for the playoffs this year.