Truckee basketball: Girls play Spring Creek tough in state semifinal loss | SierraSun.com

Truckee basketball: Girls play Spring Creek tough in state semifinal loss

Sylas Wright
Sierra Sun

Sylas Wright/Sierra SunTruckee senior Katy Stephens dribbles the ball up the court Friday night during the Wolverines' 45-36 state semifinal loss to Spring Creek.

RENO and#8212; The Truckee girls kept the score close for three and a half quarters against top-seeded Spring Creek before falling short, 45-36, in a 3A state semifinal Friday at Damonte Ranch High School.

and#8220;I knew we could play with them,and#8221; said Truckee head coach Angelo Tenorio, whose Wolverines (8-12) entered state as the North’s third seed. and#8220;It was just a matter of getting the girls to believe they could.and#8221;

By the end of the first quarter, the Wolverines looked to be gaining confidence as they trailed by just two points, 6-4, in a low-scoring, defensive affair and#8212; just the way Tenorio drew up the game plan.

and#8220;Our game plan was to slow everything down and keep it low-scoring to give ourselves the best opportunity. And the girls did a great job for the most part,and#8221; said Tenorio, who packed players in the paint on defense in an effort to counteract the Spartans’ size advantage.

As the Wolverines continued to hold Spring Creek’s strong post players in check inside, the Spartans heated up a bit from the perimeter in the second quarter, making several 3-pointers to take a 22-15 lead into the half.

Truckee clamped down defensively after the break, holding Spring Creek (22-4, 16-1 vs. the 3A) to seven points while narrowing the lead slightly, to 29-23, by the end of the third quarter. Guards Katy Stephens and Megan Shalvis pestered Spring Creek ball-handlers, creating a number of turnovers in the quarter, while sophomore post player Aleigh Krug and company held their own on the inside.

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Shalvis drove the ball aggressively to the hoop often in the final quarter, looking to stop the clock while chipping into the Spartans’ lead. Shalvis went to the free-throw line 10 times in the game, converting five of those attempts en route to scoring a team-high 18 points.

With 5:40 remaining in regulation, however, Spring Creek point guard Noelle Laffoon hit a 3-pointer to extend the Spartans lead to 34-24. Truckee managed to trim the lead by a point before running out of time.

and#8220;We had it,and#8221; said Stephens, one of five seniors to suit up for the final time in a Truckee uniform. and#8220;We definitely played good in our 2-3 zone and#8230; We tried to slow the tempo down, because they like to speed things up.and#8221;

Krug scored six points for the Wolverines, while Stephens and Brooke Griffin, a senior who also played her last game for the Wolverines, each contributed five points. Spring Creek senior post Sam Rynearson scored 18 points to lead the Spartans.

Seniors Mollie Askin and Amber Davy wrapped up their Truckee careers as well, while senior point guard Annie Rodriguez cheered her team on from the bench, her leg in a cast after suffering a fracture in the Northern 3A regional tournament the previous week.

and#8220;It really hurt not having Annie,and#8221; Tenorio said. and#8220;She controls the ball. But the other girls stepped up and did a great job and#8230; the girls laid it on the line. I’m so proud of the kids.and#8221;

In the state title game the following day, second-seeded Lowry upset the defending state champ Spartans by one point, 35-34, in overtime. It was Spring Creek’s first loss to a 3A team since 2008.