Lakers beat Wolverines to claim TNT Cup
TAHOE CITY, Calif. — The Truckee and North Tahoe boys’ basketball teams renewed their rivalry Tuesday night in a bid to capture the annual TNT Cup and for the first time the girls’ programs took part, tipping off for the first time since 2013.
The Lady Lakers would close 2022 with dominant 44-23 win for the team’s third victory in the last four games.
“We have been working really hard to rebuild our girls program since 2018 when I took over,” said Head Coach Jason Flesock. “Our program had been struggling for many years with low numbers and few wins. Now, we have a strong program with strong numbers, focusing heavily on skill development. We have been improving greatly season over season.”
Junior Keadle Verkler led North Tahoe with 10 points. Junior Virginia Gibeaut had seven points, and sophomore Laura Couwenhoven had six points.
Senior Ashley Estabrook led Truckee with nine points, and junior Emma Jones had five points.
“We look to continue to play this interdistrict matchup in years to come,” added Flesock. “The competition is great for both programs and we really enjoyed playing against each other last night.”
North Tahoe (3-4, 0-0 Northern League) will open play in the Class 2A Northern League on the road on Friday, Jan. 6 against Coral Academy of Science – Reno (1-4, 0-1 Northern League). Truckee (0-8, 0-3 Class 3A Northern – West League) returns to action on Tuesday against Class 5A Reed (5-1).
The North Tahoe boys’ team topped off the night by capturing the TNT Cup in a 49-48 victory against Truckee.
Sophomore guard Cormac Springsteel scored nine points, including the last six for North Tahoe. Springsteel first hit an open three-pointer to tie the game at 46-46, and then drove in for a basket, drawing a foul and hitting the subsequent free throw.
The Wolverines would get a final look at the basket but couldn’t get the shot to fall.
“Ultimately, we were able to make some big plays in the fourth quarter to pull ahead enough to close the game,” said Head Coach Omar Vargas Reyes.
North Tahoe senior Jared Hunt finished with a team-high 14 points. Sophomore Levi Boyd had 10 points.
“The environment and energy from the game last night was electric,” said Reyes. “Fans from both schools packed the gym, it was a physical matchup, and it was back and forth the entire time.”
Junior Luke Cruz led Truckee with a game-high 16 points. Senior Cassius Mehan finished with 13 points.
North Tahoe regains the TNT Cup after losing it a year ago. Truckee has a 3-2 record against the Lakers in TNT Cup games.
North Tahoe (2-2, 0-0 Northern League) will open Class 2A Northern League play Friday at Coral Academy of Science – Reno (1-2, 0-1 Northern League) Friday, Jan. 6.
Truckee (1-6, 0-2 Class 3A Northern – West League) will travel to play Colfax (6-4) on Friday, Dec. 30.
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