This past weekend, the Battle Mountain High School boys basketball team played its first two league games of the year against North Tahoe Lakers and Incline. The Longhorns won both games to propel them into a strong position early in the season.
The weekend started with a dominating performance by Battle Mountain over North Tahoe on Friday night. The Longhorns defeated the Lakers 66-32 and allowed the Lakers only two offensive rebounds in the game. The home team Longhorns were able to jump out to an early lead in the first quarter showing off the teams' depth on the roster.
“This was a great week for us. For the first time this season, we were finally at full strength with every team member dressed out and ready to play by the weekend,” stated head coach Roger Wallock.
Wallock’s team displayed its talent on the court ending the first quarter with a 20-6 lead. The Longhorns added another 12 points in the second quarter to bring the halftime score to 32-11 after allowing the Lakers only five points in the quarter.
During the second half, coach Wallock was able to spread playing minutes around the roster and sophomore forward Bradley Rogers took advantage of the opportunity by leading the team in scoring with 15 points in the game. Rodgers scoring primarily came in the second half where he caught fire shooting.
Gabe Naveran added 10 in the game against the Lakers. Rogers also led the Longhorns in rebounds picking up seven boards. Danny Diaz helped the scorers with five assists, while Chris Figueroa tossed four more assists. Miles Piramide continued his strong defensive play by leading the Longhorns with four steals. The final brought the first league win of the season for the Longhorns.
The weekend games were not done yet, as a big game against the Incline Highlanders loomed Saturday evening. Coach Wallock wanted the win more than usual, as a rarely seen tiebreaker from last season eliminated the Longhorns from the regional tournament while allowing Incline to continue into the postseason play. The match-up itself did not disappoint as the Longhorns and Highlanders went back and forth in the game and decided on the games final shot.
The Longhorns struggled early against the sharpshooting Highlanders, who pushed the first quarter lead to 21-7. Battle Mountain responded in the second quarter and outscored Incline 17-5 going into the half down 26-24.
“I was impressed with the fortitude the team showed in the Incline game,” expressed Wallock after the game, “We were down 24-7 early in the second quarter, we stayed calm, trusted the offense, bore down on defense and got back in the game by halftime."
Piramide hit his shot opportunities against Incline, scoring 16 points, while team captain Figueroa played a solid all-around game with 12 points, eight assists, seven rebounds, two steals and took one charge against the Highlanders.
The Highlanders, who use quick guard play to penetrate the defense and open up shooting lanes, were taken out of their game with the Longhorns defense playing tough. Reese Artz earned two charges and Mason Fuller added another charge forcing Incline to change their offensive plan.
With only seconds left in the game, the Longhorns led Incline by a score of 53-50. Incline possessed the ball but was forced to take a shot just past half court with Figueroa’s hand in the face of the shooter. The shot fell short, and the Longhorns earned the win.
“Winning two early league games before Christmas break, while still working out the kinks offensively and defensively is a nice bonus. I am extremely proud of the boys' efforts this week,” explained Wallock on the importance of the league win.
The Longhorns are preparing for the holiday break coming up and played Eureka on Tuesday. Results were not available at press time.
*Disclaimer Travis Masterson is the Longhorn Junior Varsity head coach.