What happens in Vegas certainly won’t stay in Vegas for the South High School girls basketball team who is set to play in the Tarkanian Classic. The Colts travel today and begin the four-day tournament Wednesday.
Hosting the classic is Bishop Gorman, a high school that has become national recognized for its athletics. Current Texas Ranger Joey Gallo and former NFL running back DeMarco Murray are just a couple of notable alumni.
Up first for the Colts is a matchup with Century High School from Pocatello, Idaho, in the Ruby Division. The Diamondbacks are currently 10-3. Tip off is at 6 p.m.
“We’re going to have to go into a lot of these games with no scouting report,” Lane said. “It’ll teach us to play on the fly and hopefully listen during timeouts and be able to go out and execute.”
Win or lose, the Colts are guaranteed four games, one a day from Wednesday through Saturday against teams from across the country.
“I think it’s going to help us just having teams from out of state,” senior Gabi Lucero said. “From playing with Drea (Nelson) out of state, it really got us better so I think it will give more exposure to us.”
Obviously, the goal is getting to compete against great teams outside of the state, but Lane sees the main mission of the trip as something else.
Two years ago, Lane took her team to compete in a similar tournament in Florida and the Colts have been to the 4A state championship the past two seasons.
Now with another trip, Lane hopes she can create a bond with between the players and herself.
“Obviously I think coaches do it more for team bonding,” Lane said. “If I could say anything over the years what has probably benefited our teams here has been the bonding of the girls. I wouldn’t say we’ve always had the greatest talent, but in March, those girls decide to die on the court for each other and when they do that, you win some pretty big games.”
Lane said she received word of the tournament through her friend Jessika Caldwell, head girls basketball coach at Valor Christian. The Eagles are competing in the tournament as well, but they are in the Diamond Division.
“What’s crazy about Valor is they didn’t even win their league last year,” Lane said. “However, in the RPI rankings they were ranked above (league teams who finished higher). They send some of these nationally ranked teams…Some of these teams we are playing out there can boost us a little bit.”
Castle View will also be competing in the Diamond Division out of Colorado, while Denver East joins South in the Ruby Division.
“(Class) 5A really has the big girls so maybe we’ll see a couple big girls out there and some really good ball handlers,” Lucero said. “It’s fun and it’s a good team bonding.”