Trailing by 15 at the end of the third quarter, the White Pine High boys basket ball team went on an 18-2 run in the final period to eventually tie the game at Battle Mountain on Jan. 19, then win it on two free throws by Devin Starkey.
The 39-38 win snapped a five-game losing streak the boys had been suffering through. Just a few nights earlier they had lost 74-36 at league leader West Wendover.
Coach Terrill Trask said, “We competed pretty well in the first half, only down by six, 21-15, at halftime. But we were just flat in the third quarter,” and the Longhorns took a 15-point lead going into the fourth quarter 36-21.
Trask said with about five minutes left in the game, “we were still down by 15. I don’t know what clicked, but we went into a press and it forced them to get hurried, making turnovers, we finally started hitting some shots and the momentum really changed, Starkey and Kincaid Waggener got hot and it was fun to watch.”
White Pine closed the gap to one. Trailing 38-37 with just under a minute left, Starkey made both ends of a one-and-one for a 39-38 lead.
Battle Mountain turned the ball over, but White Pine did not hit the free throws this time, nor the next time after another turnover.
The Longhorns got the ball with about six seconds left, and a good looking three-point try bounced off the front of the rim, preserving the Bobcats impressive come from behind win.
Trask said the win, breaking the five game losing streak, “was very promising to see the boys not quit, behind as much as we were, coming back and playing with passion and it helped bolster our confidence.”
The win leaves the boys tied with Battle Mountain (both at 3-7) in league and but still a chance to make the six-team 2A Northern Division playoffs next month in Sparks.
Yet, both White Pine and Battle Mountain still have to play at second place Incline.
This Friday and Saturday, the Bobcats are at Incline (14-6, 8-1) and fifth place North Tahoe (11-6, 5-4).