RENO — Agassi Prep boys basketball coach Trevor Diggs knows his team has been toughened by numerous close games this season. So when Battle Mountain made a run at the Stars on Friday, Diggs wasn’t worried.
OK, maybe he was a little.
“As a coach, you always worry,” Diggs said. “But we’ve been in battles all year. These guys hung together and hung strong.”
Deishuan Booker scored a game-high 20 points, and the Stars overcame a poor stretch in the third quarter to claim a 61-52 victory over Battle Mountain in the semifinals of the Division III state tournament at North Valleys High.
Agassi Prep (25-1), which has won 18 straight games, will go after its first state title since 2011 when it meets Incline (23-6) at 4:15 p.m. today at UNR’s Lawlor Events Center. Incline defeated The Meadows 98-89.
Dennis Walker added 18 points and 16 rebounds for Agassi Prep, and Kobe Williams supplied 14 points, including a 7-for-10 effort from the free-throw line in the final 2:31.
The Stars were 10-for-14 from the line in the fourth quarter after missing 12 of their first 18 free throws.
Battle Mountain (18-11) struggled to contain Walker down low, and the Stars fed him to start the third quarter. Walker had a three-point play to open the quarter, and his bucket after a nice spin move gave Agassi Prep a 30-18 lead one minute into the third.
“That’s part of coaching,” Diggs said. “When you see something, you want to milk it.”
But Dominic Valles triggered a 12-3 Longhorns run in the next five minutes that cut Agassi Prep’s lead to 33-30 and gave Diggs a bit of sweat.
As it turned out, Diggs had nothing to be concerned about. Agassi Prep answered with a 14-5 spurt and went up 47-35 after Walker’s putback with 4:53 to play.
“I know what to expect from my guys,” Diggs said. “I didn’t expect them to fold. They came out with the resiliency they always had.”
■ Incline 98, The Meadows 89 — At North Valleys, Eric Hirsberg had a game-high 27 points, but the Mustangs (23-8) were unable to rally from a 22-point second-half deficit and fell in the semifinals.
Brian Fridman posted 26 points and 13 rebounds, and Ethan Fridman supplied 23 points for The Meadows, which trailed 68-46 midway through the third before closing the quarter on a 14-2 run.
The Meadows got as close as 76-72 with 4:31 remaining on a 3-pointer by Brian Fridman, but Jack Clouthier hit a 3-pointer to start a 9-0 Highlanders run.
“That team is relentless,” Mustangs coach Gary Hannig said. “Every time we went on a little bit of a run, they hit a big shot.”
Clouthier led Incline with 26 points, including six of his team’s 13 3-pointers. Oren Porter and Alex Zissis each scored 19 for the Highlanders.
■ Incline 50, Lincoln County 42 — At North Valleys, Savannah Harr had 12 points and six rebounds, but the Lynx (14-5) went cold from the floor in the second half and lost to the Highlanders in the semifinals.
Incline (24-3) takes on Pershing County at 2:30 p.m. today at Lawlor Events Center in the title game.
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 closed to within 36-35 on a 3-pointer by Harr with 6:53 remaining in regulation, but Incline answered with a 9-0 spurt.
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.
■ 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.
Daryn Plumage added seven points for Needles.
Hannah McCurley had 22 points to lead Pershing County, and teammate Melissa Gonzalez scored 19.
Contact reporter David Schoen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-5203. Follow him on Twitter @DavidSchoenLVRJ.