Northern teams again prevailed in the NIAA Division III girls state basketball championships at North Valleys High in Reno last week.
And that meant that Lincoln County, the Southern division champion lost out for the second straight year, but still completed a fine season. Lincoln was runner-up to Pershing County last year.
And this year, the Lady Lynx (14-5), came up short in the semifinals 50-42 to eventual champion Incline. Lincoln had a 16-15 lead at the start of the second quarter, and shortly thereafter, Incline had two of their top players, Molly Franklin and Kerrie Tonking riding the bench with three fouls.
But Lincoln was not able to capitalize on their absence and push the lead as hoped, and went to halftime with only a 26-23 lead.
Coach Lori Cheeney said they wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to extend the lead, “but it just didn’t pan out for us.”
In the third quarter, Lincoln went cold from the floor, scoring only four points, while Incline stayed consistent, and combined with an 11-1 run late in the quarter, ended the period with a 36-30 lead.
Savannah Harr hit a 3-pointer with 6:53 remaining in the game, as Lincoln pulled up on Incline’s bumper 36-35, but they could not get over the top of the ladder, and the Highlanders came right back and put the game away with a 9-0 run.
Harr finished with 12 points and six rebounds for Lincoln. Jaycee Wadsworth had a double-double, 11 points and 10 rebounds. Kaylee Teel added eight points and eight rebounds, and Kayla Mathews had 12 rebounds for the Lynx.
Franklin and Tonking were high point for Incline with 13 points each.
Cheeney said after the game, “We just weren’t on from the outside, weren’t hitting when we needed to, and we couldn’t make up for it.”
Needles, the other Southern Division team, lost to Pershing County in the second semifinal 61-37.
Incline won their first state girls basketball championship since 1985 the next night, 53-38 over Pershing County behind 20 points from Molly Franklin.
On a bright note, the Lincoln County girls won the NIAA State Academic Championship and were presented a plaque in recognition.