Battle Mountain's Christina Holley splits a pair of Wells defenders on her way to the basket.
Battle Mountain's Christina Holley splits a pair of Wells defenders on her way to the basket.
The Battle Mountain High School girls basketball started the new year with a split of two games at home against Wells and Incline.

Battle Mountain hosted Wells on Tuesday, Jan. 4, and rallied from a 17-4 deficit to beat the Leopards 38-30. The Lady Longhorns took on Incline on Saturday afternoon and suffered a 58-23 loss to the Highlanders to drop to 0-1 in the Northern 2A and 8-4 overall. 

Battle Mountain was scheduled to host North Tahoe on Friday night but that game was postponed due to new Covid restrictions in certain California counties.

In the win against Wells, Battle Mountain started out slowly, as the Leopards went on a 15-0 run after Christina Holley gave the Lady Longhorns a 4-2 advantage.

Senior Zarina Ceja connected on back-to-back baskets at the start of the second quarter to get the Wells’ lead under double figures, only to see the Leopards make another run to jump back in front 23-9. 

The Battle Mountain defense stepped up from there and Ceja added five points, including a 3-pointer and Marena Fuller closed out the first half with a basket to close within seven points at 23-16.

“We are going to have to start games better, also real good teams going down 17-4 will be hard to recover from,” said BMHS coach Paul Tremayne. “We had too many missed easy baskets early and too many turnovers in the first half.” 

Yezzell Guizar began an 8-0 run with a 3-pointer to begin the third quarter, where Battle Mountain took the lead at 24-23. Ceja added two late baskets in the third quarter to give the Lady Longhorns a 28-27 lead with eight minutes to play.

After giving up 17 points in the first quarter, Battle Mountain allowed just 13 points in the final three quarters, as the Lady Longhorns pulled away.

Ceja paced Battle Mountain with 16 points and Guizar added seven. Brynnlee Freeman, Holley and Guizar had four points apiece and Jade Castellanos one.

“We had 13 turnovers at halftime and ended with 18,” added the coach.  “The girls hung in and did a good job overall.”

Battle Mountain was back on its home floor on Saturday afternoon to take on Incline, one of the top teams in the Northern 2A. 

The Highlanders scored nine of the first 11 points of the game, as Freeman and Castellanos had the lone baskets for the Lady Longhorns in the opening eight minutes of play.

A 3-pointer by Freeman kept Battle Mountain within six points at 15-9 early in the first quarter, but Incline ended the first half on a 15-4 run to lead 30-13 at the break.

After Ceja opened the second half with a 3-point field goal, Incline used an 18-2 run to pull away and were not threatened from there.  

Castellanos led Battle Mountain with 11 points and Freeman and Ceja had four points apiece. Holley finished with two points for the Lady Longhorns

“Thought the girls played really hard and did some good things,” Tremayne. “We turned the ball over way too many times especially in the first half. We did not shoot particularly well. They are big and the best team in the 2A.  Christina did a pretty good job on her (Brooke Guthell). The other big girl and the guard hurt us. We have a long way to go to play with them. We will get back to work and get ready for Pershing County this week.”

Battle Mountain travels to Lovelock on Friday to play Pershing County at 6 p.m. The road trip continues on Saturday in Reno against Coral Academy.