The Battle Mountain High School girls basketball team picked up three wins last week and sits in second place in the Northern 2A at 6-1.
Battle Mountain traveled to Lovelock on Tuesday, Jan. 9, to face rival Pershing County. The two teams battled it out to a last-second finish, resulting in a Longhorn victory.
The Lady Longhorns returned to the court after falling to the White Pine Bobcats in their previous contest.
Pershing County took the early lead against Battle Mountain but both teams struggled with their shooting early. After the first quarter, the score fell in the Mustangs favor at 7-3. In the second quarter, the Longhorns and Mustangs went shot-for-shot with each other, ultimately finishing with each team scoring 12 points in the period. The halftime ended with the Mustangs leading the Longhorns by the score of 19-15.
Pershing County held the lead through the first three quarters and was able to extend the lead to five points going into the fourth quarter. The Lady Longhorns trailed 32-27 and needed to win the quarter by six points to defeat their rival school.
The ladies did not disappoint, battling back to tie the game at 34 after two 2-point field goals by Isabella DeAllah and Page Ripley and a 3-pointer by Sruti Bhakta.
Pershing County would not go away though, as Taryn Houston nailed her own 3-pointer to match the Longhorns’ Bhakta. The intense fourth quarter environment was fueled by a ruckus crowd from both the Battle Mountain and Pershing County supporters.
In the final minutes of the game, Battle Mountain made five free throws to take a 39-37 lead, setting a big offensive play for the Mustangs. Battle Mountain played tough defense but were called for a foul with only seconds left on the clock.
The Mustangs had the opportunity to tie the game if Houston could hit both free throws. Houston missed the first shot but made the second bringing the Longhorns lead down to one at 39-38. On the inbound pass, Bhakta got away from the Mustang defense and was able to run out the clock, securing the Longhorns victory on the road.
“This was a typical fun Lovelock game and the girls battled it out,” said BMHS coach Paul Tremayne. “We did not shoot very well again but did enough on defense and made enough free throws to win. The girls are playing hard and improving each week, I am looking forward to the stretch run of the season.”
Bhakta led the Longhorns with 11 points, five assist and four steals in the game. DeAllah followed the performance by scoring 10 points and added another four steals to the total. The Longhorns leading rebounder in the contest was Grace Melver who secured 10 rebounds in the game and scored eight points against the Mustangs.
Battle Mountain was back home this past weekend to play Yerington and Silver Stage. The Lady Longhorns swept the weekend to remain with the second-best record in the Northern 2A.
On Friday, Battle Mountain took the court against a talented Yerington team looking to upset the Lady Longhorns. Yerington came into the game 3-2 in the Northern 2A and tried its best to give Battle Mountain a second league loss.
The Lady Longhorns started the game off quick with DeAllah scoring the opening basket, followed by a quick 3-point shot by Melver. Yerington stayed with Battle Mountain through the first quarter, which ended with the Longhorns leading 14-13.
The second quarter turned out to be a defensive struggle, as both teams tried to score. At halftime, the Lions had captured the lead for the first time in the game at 21-20. In the second half, the Lady Longhorns began to establish their dominance over the Lions with Bhakta, Melver and Sheradyn Slaybaugh taking over the game.
Freshman guard Brooke Ripley came off the bench in the third quarter and began the rally for Battle Mountain, scoring nine straight points to expand the lead. The spark by the freshman was precisely what the Lady Longhorns needed to defeat the Lions. At the end of the third quarter, Battle Mountain led 38-29.
Bhakta led the Lady Longhorns in scoring with 16 points, and she added another seven assists to the game. Slaybaugh dominated the boards, resulting in her first double-double of the season with 10 points and 12 rebounds against the Lions.
In the final quarter, the Lady Longhorns pulled away from the Lions and won the game by 24 points with a final score of 55-31.
“[We had a] Slow first half for us being down by one point, but [we] played a nice second half,” Tremayne said. “This was a big league win for us, and I was excited to see our frosh Brooke Ripley spark our rally in the third quarter.”
After a hard-fought victory, the Longhorns faced off with Silver Stage on Saturday.
Melver, who scored 28 points and seven rebounds against Silver Stage, helped Battle Mountain stay in the lead throughout the contest.
“We struggled in this one, and were in early foul trouble,” Tremayne said. “Melver stepped up while we had girls sitting out.”
Despite losing the first quarter, the Lady Longhorns responded with a 17-point second quarter and led 27-23 at halftime. Battle Mountain expanded its lead by nine at the end of the third quarter to lead 43-28.
The Lady Longhorns maintained their lead throughout the fourth quarter, using Tremayne’s four-corner offense. The offense helped the ladies run the clock down while forcing the defense to either foul or risk jumping passes. The attack helped the Lady Longhorns win the game by a final score of 56-42.
“It was nice to see the girls hang in and get a win,” Tremayne said. “We are now halfway through the league games, and we have put ourselves in a good position in the standings at this point of the season.”
The three league wins bring the Lady Longhorns record to 13-4 overall and 6-1 in league play. They currently sit behind the undefeated White Pine Bobcats in the standings, with eight games left in the season.
Battle Mountain travels to Lake Tahoe this weekend to play Incline on Friday at 6 p.m. and North Tahoe on Saturday at 2 p.m.