ELY — With a pair of road losses, the West Wendover boys basketball team likely cost itself a first-round bye for the Division 2A North regional tournament.
The Wolverines (14-7 overall, 9-4 in league) fell for the second time to both North Tahoe and Incline, bouncing back with a win against White Pine.
Incline also swept the season series, wining 78-72 in overtime on Jan. 4, in West Wendover, and rolling out the offense in a 91-75 victory on Feb. 1.
No. 1 Incline is still unbeaten in league play at 14-0, while No. 2 North Tahoe is currently 10-3 in the 2A North — owning the head-to-head advantage over West Wendover should a tie occur — the Lakers essentially two games ahead of the Wolverines.
West Wendover momentarily righted the ship Tuesday with an 80-66 road victory over White Pine, in Ely.
Versus North Tahoe
The Lakers made it three in a row over the Wolverines — dating back to the 2019 regional semifinal — the Jan. 31 meeting providing another back-and-forth overtime slugfest.
West Wendover started well with a 17-12 run in the first quarter, but the tired turned in the second with a 14-9 advantage for North Tahoe.
At the half, the game was gridlocked at 26-all.
In the third, the Wolverines edged the Lakers by a slim tally of 16-15.
However, North Tahoe forced overtime with a 13-12 edge in the fourth — making the score 54-54.
In the extra frame, the Lakers were too much — scoring 10 points in the four-minute span — limiting West Wendover to five points for a 64-59 win in overtime.
West Wendover senior Jesus Gonzales was brilliant in defeat, scoring a game-high 33 points and shooting 12-for-23 from the floor and 5-of-9 from three.
He added six rebounds, two assists, a pair of steals and a block.
However, he did not receive much help.
Aside from Gonzalez, the rest of the Wolverines shot 10-for-42 from the field and 5-of-13 from the free-throw line.
North Tahoe was balanced and placed three players in double digits, led by 22 points from sophomore Juan Camacho-Morales — who shot a blistering 8-for-9 from the floor and grabbed seven rebounds.
The Lakers were efficient across the board and shot 57 percent as a team, limiting West Wendover to 36 percent as a collective.
Senior Cameron McAndrews buried two 3s and finished with 19 points — shooting 11-of-14 at the stripe — making five rebounds and a game-high four assists.
Senior Lucas Valois poured in nine of his 11 points on 3-of-4 shooting from distance, closing with four boards and two dimes.
West Wendover junior Ragillio Navarro and senior Diego Cuevas each scored seven points.
Cuevas paced the Wolverines with eight rebounds, dished two assists and made a steal — Navarro leading the defense with four steals, a rebound and an assist.
North Tahoe senior John Parmeter Zapata was 3-for-3 from the floor and finished with six points, a team-high eight rebounds, a game-best three rejections, an assist and a steal.
Junior Gavin Villareal closed with five points, a rebound and a block for the Wolverines.
Junior Miguel Parra tallied three points, six rebounds and two steals.
West Wendover’s offense was capped by two points apiece from junior Edgar Barajas — who notched three rebounds, a team-high three assists and three steals — and freshman Eduardo Badillo.
North Tahoe sophomore Trevor Valois (five rebounds, two assists) and junior Connor Johnston scored two points apiece, the Lakers’ offense rounded out by a free throw each from junior Patrick Gulini (three assists, steal, block) and senior Elijah Sword.
WEST WENDOVER — 17 — 9 — 16 — 12 — 5 — 59 Total
NORTH TAHOE — 12 — 14 — 15 — 13 — 10 — 64 Total
Scoring 75 points is plenty of offense for a high school basketball game, but allowing the opponent to blow up the scoreboard to the tune of 91 points will never be conducive to winning.
The Wolverines had no chance for a win given their first-quarter effort on Saturday, the defense allowing a 34-point eruption and the offense scoring just six points.
West Wendover played the final three quarters at a plus 12 advantage of 69-57, but the Wolverines threw the game away in the first and were unable to overcome the 28-point avalanche deficit in the opening frame.
Incline rolled to a 91-75 victory in a game that saw little to no defense.
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Incredibly, the Highlanders placed four players in double figures — another missing digits by one point — led by a game-high 35 points from senior Finn Gottlieb.
He nailed six 3s (6-for-10), shot 12-for-22 from the floor and added five rebounds, three assists and a steal.
Sophomore TT Valosek played an all-around game with 18 points, knocked down two 3s, dished a game-high eight assists and pulled down seven boards.
Sophomore Brody Thralls dominated inside with a double-double on a game-best 14 rebounds, 11 points, two assists and a takeaway.
Senior Tyler Knight was also a force in several areas with 10 points, six rebounds, a game-high five swats, a team-best five steals and three assists.
Junior Brad Rye neared a double-double with nine points, nine rebounds, an assist and a block.
Gonzales led the Wolverines with 23 points and dropped two 3s.
He notched five rebounds, a team-high three blocks, two assists and a pair of steals.
Navarro tried to shoot West Wendover back into the contest with a game-high five 3s, finishing with 21 points, five boards and a steal.
Barajas hit three triples and closed with 15 points, four rebounds, a team-high three steals and a dime.
Cuevas (four rebounds) and senior Genaro Marquez (three boards) scored four points apiece, and Parra and Badillo added three points each.
Parra played well with eight rebounds, a team-high six assists and a swipe — Badillo finishing with four boards, an assist and a steal.
The offense was closed by a deuce from Villareal, who added two points and a rebound.
For the Highlanders, senior Tommy Ornburg hit a three and sophomore Andrew Bilotti added a deuce — freshman Gannon Gottlieb adding two points, three boards, two steals and an assist.
Incline’s offense was rounded out by a free throw from senior Kris Smith.
WEST WENDOVER — 6 — 21 — 20 — 28 — 75 Total
INCLINE — 34 — 18 — 16 — 23 — 91 Total
Versus White Pine
On Tuesday, West Wendover’s offense got back on track against White Pine — the Wolverines scoring their most points since Jan. 7 in a 93-44 victory over the Bobcats — but the defense allowed 22 points more than the first meeting.
The Wolverines got back in the win column with a 14-point, 80-66 victory.
Following advantages of 18-12 in the first quarter and 16-12 in the second, West Wendover led by 10 at the half with the score at 34-24.
However, the third quarter provided an offensive burst — the Wolverines racking up 30 points in the period, the defense giving up 17.
Entering the fourth, West Wendover extended to a 23-point cushion of 64-41.
With the game out of reach, the Bobcats didn’t lay down – White Pine posting their frame high of 25 points.
The Wolverines tacked on 16 points down the stretch and eased to an 80-66 victory.
Gonzalez splashed three 3s and poured in a team-high 28 points — shooting 11-for-20 from the floor — marking a double-double with 11 rebounds, two assists, pair of swipes and two stuffs.
Barajas also canned three bombs on his way to 13 points, five boards, four assists and two takeaways.
Navarro connected twice from distance and finished with 11 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals.
Cuevas neared double digits with eight points, five rebounds, a team-high five assists and two thefts in a nice all-around effort.
Marquez also scored eight points, snagged five boards and made a pair of swipes.
Parra notched five points, five rebounds, a team-high five steals and two assists.
Badillo scored three points and dished an assist, and the offense was closed by two points apiece for Villareal and senior Enrique Gonzalez.
WEST WENDOVER — 18 — 16 — 30 — 16 — 80 Total
WHITE PINE — 12 — 12 — 17 — 25 — 66 Total
No. 3 West Wendover (14-7 overall, 9-4 in league) was slated to play the No. 4 Longhorns (14-9 overall, 7-5 in league) in a potential swing game in the 2A North standings at 7:30 p.m. Friday, in Battle Mountain.
The Wolverines won the first meeting by a final score of 69-57 on Jan. 10, in West Wendover.