TRUCKEE — Call it a streak.
After dropping the first seven games of their league schedule, the Truckee boys earned their second consecutive Division I-A victory with a 52-28 rout against visiting Sparks on Tuesday.
“It was solid,” first-year Truckee coach Sky Nelson said of the win, which kicked off the second half of league play. “It’s what I hoped to have happen.”
The Wolverines, who lost 52-49 at Sparks on Dec. 19, showed the Railroaders just how much they improved over the past month.
They applied sticky defensive pressure in the half court, making life difficult for Sparks on the offensive end, while controlling the boards and regularly breaking the visitors’ full-court press without issue.
Truckee players also shot the ball with confidence — a facet missing from their game in the early going.
“We played very well defensively,” said Nelson, who mixed up his defense throughout the game. “The guys did a good job of altering shots.”
As a result, Sparks shot a low percentage from the field, misfiring from both outside and on numerous layup attempts as Truckee stretched its 14-12 lead after one quarter to 29-18 by the half.
Both teams played a sloppy third quarter, scoring just five points apiece as Sparks continued to botch point-blank shots and Truckee continually turned the ball over.
Truckee senior guard Sean Daniel got the Wolverines back on track with a big 3-pointer near the end of the quarter. He further ignited his team and the home crowd when he swatted a Sparks shot into the stands just before the buzzer.
The Wolverines heated up again in the fourth, outscoring the Railroaders 18-5 on their way to the 24-point victory.
Senior forward Ian Wilson was a dominant force inside. He grabbed 15 rebounds and scored nine points, mostly on second-chance opportunities after pulling down offensive boards.
“He did a nice job,” Nelson said. “He’s a tough kid and is very active on defense.”
Junior guard Nick Oberriter scored a game-high 12 points, while Louden Smith contributed 10 points and Ryan Schlidge seven. Teagan Pado and Chase Vankirk added six points apiece. Isaiah Campbell led Sparks with eight points.
Truckee improved to 2-7 in league and Sparks fell to 1-8.
“We’re still in it numerically for a playoff spot,” said Nelson, whose Wolverines have seven games remaining in the regular season. “It’s a long shot, but we’re much more organized than we were in December.”