The Truckee Tribe U13 boys lacrosse team took its “Tribe Vibe” to the High Sierra Lacrosse League championship on Saturday in Tahoe City, where it pulled off a narrow 6-5 victory over the Mt. Rose Rattlers.
The Tribe had faced off against the Rattlers in two prior regular-season games, with each team taking a victory from the other.
The Rattlers had handed the Tribe their only official defeat of the 2014 HSLL season, so the rematch was much anticipated.
The Tribe advanced to the championship game with a win over the Spanish Springs Cougars that showed Truckee’s depth: six goals spread over five players. More than once this year, the Tribe has won games in which no Truckee player scored more than a single goal, a testimony to the team’s balance.
To start the championship game, the Tribe struck with two quick goals to set the pace and were moving the ball with confidence.
However, by halftime, the Rattlers had come back to take a 3-2 lead and Truckee had to dig deep to regain their “Tribe Vibe.”
Late in the game, the Tribe scored their sixth goal off a decisive, trailing stick check by Luke Sortor, who stopped a Rattler fast break and recovered the ball. Sortor hit fellow attackman Tanner Halberstadt with a brilliant pass, and Halberstadt drilled the ball into the back of the net from 10 yards out.
Despite a late goal by the Rattlers, it was enough and the Tribe managed to hold onto their one-point lead to the final whistle.
“That was lacrosse,” said Shane Tewksbury, co-head coach of the Tribe. “Two very, very evenly matched teams playing to finish within a single point. We have the utmost respect for the Rattlers. They were intimidating in competition and gracious in defeat. It was surreal — and a relief — when that final horn sounded.”
Team captains for the game, Collin Wadsworth, Zach Gaut and Than Stoup, accepted the championship trophy from HSLL President Steve Morrow. Shortly after, Halberstadt, who scored three goals in the Tribe’s championship victory, received MVP honors from Morrow, along with a Warrior Burn lacrosse head.
In other action, the Truckee Tribe U11 team was bumped in the semifinal round by the North Tahoe Lakers, finishing third in the league — an impressive showing, given the large number of first-year players on the squad.
The Tribe U15 team, which won the championship last year, was missing players and fell short of the required number to compete. Nevertheless, they played alongside several U15 teams from Spanish Springs and enjoyed a hard-fought loss to the North Reno Outlaws.
Fall lacrosse in Truckee begins in September, so interested participants are encouraged to contact Truckee Tribe co-head coach Pete Halberstadt at firstname.lastname@example.org.