Boys’ basketball splits weekend games | SierraSun.com

Boys’ basketball splits weekend games

Matt Brown, Sierra Sun

After beating Fernley, first-year head coach Josh Jansen felt content with his team’s accomplishments four games into its league schedule.

“Now we’re 2-2, and I guess this is the first time in a long time that Truckee’s been 2-2 to start off league,” said Jansen, head coach of the boys’ varsity basketball team. “So I’m happy with that.”

Truckee held a lead after every quarter on Saturday afternoon, beating Fernley comfortably, 49-36.

“I think tonight (Saturday) was a huge confidence builder for us,” Jansen said. “Tonight was good because we got the lead early and held on to it.”

Behind another solid outing by inside force Jamie Maehler and double digit points by Drew Stewart, the Wolverines outscored the visiting Vaqueros 19-9 in the third quarter to improve their overall record to 5-9.

Maehler had 16 points, consistently attacking the basket the entire game. Stewart, a freshman, put Truckee ahead by four to end the first quarter with a three-pointer and finished with 11. Stewart also had a pretty drive to the hoop early in the game, finishing with a finger roll over a couple Fernley defenders.

Recommended Stories For You

Fernley’s Shaun lee and Cody Rieger pitched in 10 points each in a losing effort. The Vaqueros are now 3-3 in the Northern 3A and 7-6 overall.

The Wolverines’ strategy under Jansen has been controlling games through time of possession, maintained by passing the ball around on offense to create scoring opportunities, and feisty defense that does not surrender a lot of points. In Truckee’s two league victories, it has only given up 83 points, an average of 41.5.

“If we play defense for four quarters, we’ll always have a chance to win the game,” Jansen said.

But when that stingy defense collapses, Truckee has had trouble scoring enough points to keep up with high-scoring teams that rely on offense.

And that is what transpired on Friday night, when Truckee hosted last year’s division winner Rite of Passage. Although parts of their game showed promise, Truckee was thoroughly outmatched in the contest. Truckee has yet to compete with the top teams in the Northern 3A.

The only challenge for Rite of Passage was making it to 100 points, and it was successful in the last few minutes of the game, posting a 101-54 win.

Truckee battled in the first quarter, trailing by seven at the conclusion, 21-14. But, outscored 26-10 in the second quarter, Truckee could not recover from a 47-24 halftime deficit.

“We put forth a good effort in the first quarter and halfway through the second quarter, and we executed well,” Jansen said. “Then, basically, we turned the ball over about 10 times in a row, and their lead went from six to 26 (in a short amount of time).”

Jansen thought his team didn’t play with enough passion on Friday night.

“I think what happened, after the North Tahoe win (on Jan. 13), is they got complacent,” he said. “We didn’t come out with enough fire and energy.”

Maehler and Stewart were the leading scorers in this game as well. Maehler had 16 and was 6 for 9 at the free-throw line. Stewart had 14, while netting three three-pointers.

Four ROP players scored in double digits. Point guard Kevin DeShields lit up the Truckee gym with 35 points, while Devin Barfield scored 22. DeShields and teammates smiled for the KRNV Channel 4 (Reno) cameras after the game.

ROP, which beat Truckee 83-38 on Dec. 5 in a tournament at Quincy, is 6-0 in the Northern 3A and 13-2 on the season, one game better than second-place Bishop-Manogue (5-0, 13-3).

Truckee’s two league losses have come to ROP and Manogue, which blasted Truckee 70-24 on Jan. 7. Truckee must find a way to control ROP and Manogue defensively in their next league meetings.

Truckee travels to Sparks tonight at 7:30 p.m., then to Spring Creek on Friday (7:30 p.m.) and Lowry on Saturday (4:30 p.m.).