RENO — The stats will show that Lincoln County’s girls basketball team gave up two second-half runs, and that proved to be the difference in its 50-42 loss to Incline in the semifinals of the Division III state tournament.
But the Lynx’s real undoing Friday at North Valleys High came in the second quarter.
Leading 16-15, Lincoln County had a golden opportunity to extend its advantage as the Highlanders’ top two players — Molly Franklin and Kerrie Tonking — sat for the final 5 minutes, 42 seconds of the half with three fouls apiece. Instead, the Lynx (14-5) were unable to capitalize and took just a 26-23 lead at the half.
“We really wanted to take advantage,” Lincoln County coach Lori Cheeney said. “It just didn’t pan out for us.”
Savannah Harr had 12 points and six rebounds for Lincoln County, which went cold from the floor in the second half.
Lincoln County led 29-25 early in the third before Incline closed the quarter on an 11-1 run to take a 36-30 advantage into the fourth. The Lynx got to within 36-35 on a 3-pointer by Harr with 6:53 remaining in regulation, but Incline (24-3) answered with a 9-0 spurt to regain control.
Kortney Solis got behind the Lincoln County defense for two easy buckets, and Franklin capped the run with a strong drive that gave the Highlanders a 45-35 lead with exactly three minutes to play.
“We were missing a few shots and we got our heads down for a few seconds and they totally took advantage of that,” Cheeney said.
Jaycee Wadsworth finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds for Lincoln County. Kaylee Teel added eight points and eight boards, and Kayla Mathews pulled down 12 rebounds for the Lynx.
Franklin and Tonking led the Highlanders with 13 points apiece.
“We just weren’t on from the outside,” Cheeney said. “We weren’t hitting when we needed to, and we couldn’t make up for it.”
Pershing County 61, Needles 37 — At North Valleys, Brenna Chavez finished with 12 points as Needles (20-9) was unable to stay with the three-time defending state champions.
Needles trailed 27-22 at halftime before Pershing County (26-3) pulled away in the second half. Pershing County outscored Needles 34-15 in the final two quarters.
Daryn Plumage added seven points for Needles.
Hannah McCurley had 22 points to lead Pershing County, and teammate Melissa Gonzalez scored 19.