For the Lowry girls basketball team, the chance to play their biggest rival is also a chance to play at home.
When Lowry (6-0 league, 10-4 overall) hosts Elko (7-0, 11-7) at 6 p.m. Tuesday, it will be just the third home game for the Buckaroos this season.
“It’s another game. We want to play well and play hard,” Lowry coach Chelsea Cabatbat said. “They’re excited, but they know what it’s like to play Elko.”
Lowry won the Northern Division I-A title last season and went on to win the state title. It was Cabatbat’s first year coaching at the school in Winnemucca.
First place in the Northern Division I-A is on the line Tuesday.
Cabatbat has eight returners from last season, including six seniors. Alyssa Dendary leads the team in scoring at 8.7 points per game.
Cabatbat said her team is improving each week.
“We still have things to work on. We need to take care of business and be playing our best at the end of the season,” Cabatbat said. “There’s not a lot of hype about (Tuesday’s game) yet, but I guarantee the gym will be packed. Everyone will be there.”
For Elko, playing the defending state champion is plenty of incentive.
“There’s definitely more motivation to knock them off,” Elko coach Camille Larsen said of facing Lowry. “Who doesn’t want to beat the defending state champs?”
Elko has won its last six games. Senior Desirea Danner leads the team in scoring at 8.5 ppg. Payton Naveran is pulling down 6.6 rebounds per game and Jasmine Marchand is grabbing 6.2.
Larsen said rebounding and defense will be priorities against Lowry.
The rivalry with Lowry is also in the back of her mind.
“This is what high school basketball is all about,” Larsen, in her fourth season as head coach, said. “Elko and Lowry have been rivals for a long time. Some parents get involved, it brings back a lot of old feelings. It’s pretty fun.”
Girls Division I-A
WHO: Elko (7-0, 11-7) at Lowry (6-0 league, 10-4 overall)
WHEN: at 6 p.m. Tuesday.