Ladycats primed for playoffs

Courtesy photo/ROBERT SWITZER
The White Pine High girls basketball team swept three games last week and will enter the 3A Northern Division playoffs as the top seed. Pictured Jenna Gubler.

By Tylar Laity

White Pine girls basketball coach

The White Pine High girls basketball team finished off the regular season last week with three games, starting the week with a non-conference game on Tuesday in Alamo.

Coach Laity, commented “When you play Alamo it is always tough, they have a great program and a good coaching staff leading the way, they are leading the division 1A league and head into their division tournament as the 1 seed.”

The tough environment and quick turnaround with games did seem to startle the Cats, who finished the first quarter up by 1.

“We were not defending screens and long shots well and they capitalized,” said Senior Mikinley Prengel.

The second quarter was a different story with White Pine outscoring the Panthers 16-7 and entering half with a 9 point lead.

After the half the Ladycats looked to finish off the game but a streak of quick baskets and long shots put Alamo right back in the game entering the 4th quarter only down by 6.

In the final quarter it was a battle but eventually sophmore Madison Rick would step up and lead the team from the post to victory with 16 points and 11 rebounds recording her 6th double-double of the season.

After Tuesdays game the Ladycats only had one day of practice to prepare for a game in West Wendover to fight for the league title. White Pine entered the game at 11-2 in league play and West Wendover entered at 10-2 and having lost the previous match up by 6 in Ely.

The Cats would get off to a rough start gathering two quick fouls on offense and letting the Wolverines get an early lead, but it didn’t last long.

Midway through the quarter the Ladycats would get ahead and never look back finishing the game at 46-35 and clinching the league title for the first time in over 10 years.

Lily Fullmer said,  “It wasn’t a great overall game that we played but we got the job done and did what we wanted to do down the stretch to enter the playoffs as the 1 seed.

“Our defense and press helped us win this game and its something that we will try and continue to excel at headed into divisions.”

White Pine was lead by a core group of starters with Prengel scoring 11 points and grabbing 9 rebounds almost getting a double-double.

Other leaders in scoring were Fullmer, Britney Kingston and Jenna Gubler all with 8 points. The Cats struggled from the field shooting 29 percent and only 54 percent from the line but were helped with 18 steals and 46 team rebounds to get the victory.

Saturday the girls would finish out the regular season at home with a non conference game against Tonopah where it was the seniors time to shine.

The game was officially the senior recognition game and all four senior Ladycats were able to start the game.

The Muckers could not get past the Ladycat press and the game quickly turned into a blowout with a first quarter score of 23-1. White Pine would not look back and continue to play great defense until the end with a final score of 58-15. The Cats were lead by their seniors Mikinley Prengel with 15 points, Jenna Gubler with 13 points and Haylee Andre with 7 points and were lead from the bench by Michayla Cessford who was hurt at the beginning of the year tearing her ACL and meniscus but has a great player coach throughout the year and a leader from the sidelines. Others to contribute to the last home game of the year were Hailey Ernest with 9 points, Kendra Thompson with 3, Maryn Van Tassell with 5, Kingston with 2 and Madison Rick with 4, which put all nine Ladycats in the score book.

Next up for the Ladycats is the Northern divisional tournament this weekend where they enter as the No. 1 seed and have a re-match of last years state title game with the 4 seed Incline Highlanders on Friday at 8 p.m. (catch the live broadcast of the game on Facebook at WP Basketball Live).

Saturday the championship game is at 1 p.m. in Winnemucca at the Event Center.

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