Ely Times Staff Writer
The White Pine High girls basketball team is becoming a force to be reckoned with when the opponents have the ball. Continuing their win streak, the Ladycats won another three games in a row, including a defensive struggle against Eureka on Jan. 21 resulting in a 37-35 win.
The Ladycats held each of their three opponents to under 40 points, including a 54-19 performance on Jan. 25 against Silver Stage where the Silverhawks didn’t score at all in the second quarter.
Coach Krystal Smith said she has been impressed with the continued improvement of her team and their ability to build an identity on the court.
“We pride ourselves on our defense,” Smith said.
One of the reasons for their success, Smith said, has been an increase in the team’s ability to rebound. Smith credited the aggressive play of junior Teal Hussey underneath the basket as a major game changer in the Ladycat’s 64-38 win over Yerington on Jan. 24.
“Teal Hussey came in and cleaned up our defensive rebounds for us which was something that we knew was key to get second shots up,” Smith said.
Hussey, who has played with a knee brace for most of the season, would often throw herself at the ball and extend the Ladycat’s scoring opportunities.
“If you win the rebounding on the defense or offense, you’ll most likely win the game. That’s what I was striving for,” Hussey said.
Hussey went on to call the team’s performance against the Yerington Lions “one of our top games of the season.” It was also Hussey’s best scoring game, with a season high of 11 points.
Ashlyn Huntington had a big game against Silver Stage, scoring 10 points, including a big three point shot early in the game, starting a blowout. Huntington said the team’s respect for one another has helped them win their last seven games in a row.
“We all love each other. I think we have a really good team this year and I think we can go all the way,” Huntington said.
The Ladycats are now 7-2 in league play and have moved into second place behind Incline. They will get to see how they stack up against the first place Highlanders on Feb. 1 in a road game that should have big consequences on playoff seeding. Before that though, they will travel to North Tahoe to take on the Lakers on Jan. 31.