Incline threatened top seed White Pine Friday, Feb. 16, but couldn't get over the hump and fell 50-40 in the quarterfinals of the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association Class 2A Girls' Northern Region Basketball Championships at Adobe Middle School in Elko.
The Highlanders trailed by just one point heading into the final quarter but were outscored 20-10 and failed to make the state tournament for the second straight year after reaching it for three consecutive seasons (2013-15), winning the title in 2013-14.
"I was really proud of the girls, they battled hard," said Incline head coach Indra Winquest. "We had a chance, we just didn't have the firepower at the end. They're size was tough to deal with."
Highlander junior Taylor Redfern led all scorers with 21 points, including 5 for 10 from the 3-point line. She grabbed six rebounds, made three steals and blocked three shots.
"They face-guarded her, they double-teamed her and boxed her, but they still couldn't stop her," Winquest said.
Madison Corneil, Haeden Suter and Kate Tong each scored five points and Chandler Cohn and Carolyn Eppolito added two apiece. Cohn had six boards and Corneil and Suter each corralled five.
"Everyone chipped in," Winquest said. "Corneil handling the ball, Suter did a great job guarding their best player and Cohn had a great game, but they were just the better team."
While fighting for a northern region title and a state playoff berth are lofty results, the Highlanders' expectations going into the season were much more modest.
With just three returning players with varsity experience the goals was to get better as the season went on.
Incline finished the season 13-12 and 7-7 in league play.
"We wanted to be playing our best at the end of the year and we were," Winquest said. "We were that team nobody wanted to play down the stretch. I'm really excited for next year."
Redfern earns offensive MVP, 3 others get honorable mention
Redfern averaged 18.6 pointer per game this season, over five more than any other player in the 2A Northern League. She hit 99 3-pointers, almost 40 better than the next best shooter. She blocked 77 shots in 25 games, almost twice as much as anybody else.
Those kinds of video game numbers helped her earn the league's Offensive Most Valuable Player award, and she could've, maybe should've, had the top award but the Highlanders fourth-place tie in league may have hurt her chances.
Redfern was a first team player her freshman and sophomore seasons.
Suter, Cohn and Corneil were all given honorable mention.
Suter, a senior, scored about three points per game but was one of the team's top rebounders, averaging over four per game.
Corneil, a sophomore, scored over six points on average and recorded over two rebounds, assists and steals per game.
Cohn, a junior, scored over three points per game and led Incline with over five boards per contest.