Truckee basketball: Girls tested before postseason | SierraSun.com

Truckee basketball: Girls tested before postseason

Sylas Wright | swright@sierrasun.com

TRUCKEE —

The final stretch of the regular season could not have been much more brutal for the Truckee girls. But that may not be a bad thing for the playoff-bound Wolverines, said coach Dave Shalvis.

"It definitely helps us. In years past we've had [an easy] schedule at the end, and that didn't help us," said Shalvis, whose Wolverines powered out Saturday with their fourth game in five days, all against playoff contenders.

Truckee (6-10 league) nearly pulled off a victory in Saturday's finale only to fall one point short, 31-30, against visiting Fernley (10-6), the No. 4 playoff seed. Truckee lost 50-32 to second-seeded Lowry (13-3) on Friday.

As a No. 6 seed, the Wolverines will take on third-seeded Elko (12-4) in the quarterfinal round of the Northern Division I-A regional tournament on Thursday.

On Saturday, the Vaqueros survived an open look by Truckee's sharp shooter late in regulation to escape with the close win.

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After nearly four quarters of back-and-forth play, Truckee forward Shelby Brooks scored in the post to cut the Vaqueros' lead to a single point with 29 seconds remaining. Truckee quickly fouled Fernley guard Hailee Edgar, who missed the front end of a 1-and-1 to give the Wolverines a final possession.

Truckee senior guard Karina Nunez swung the ball to an open Sydney Mock, who launched a three-pointer that rimmed out. Brooks grabbed the rebound, but Fernley's Grace DeLeon alertly tied her up for the jump ball — and Fernley possession — with 1.2 on the clock.

Despite the loss, Shalvis said he was pleased with his team's execution, particularly in how it handled Fernley's full-court pressure.

"They took their time to break the press. When they calm down and break the press, they can hang with anybody," Shalvis said of his players. "They just have to get the nerves under control."

The contest started off as a defensive struggle, with Fernley leading 7-4 by the end of the first quarter after four straight points by DeLeon.

The Wolverines took over the lead in the second quarter and carried a 16-14 advantage into the half. The third quarter featured two lead changes and two ties before the Wolverines ended with four straight points — on a putback by Brooks and a midrange jumper by Elizabeth Morgan — and a 25-23 lead.

Truckee's only points in the fourth came on a free throw by Sara Sawyer, a runner by Mock and the post bucket by Brooks.

Mock led all scorers with 14 points to go along with her 11 steals, while Brooks added six points and six rebounds, and Adela Ortiz scored three points. Edgar led the Vaqueros with 11 points, DeLeon added six and Brooke Chapin four.

Against Lowry, Truckee fell behind 12-2 by the end of the first quarter and never recovered. Mock posted 12 points, 10 steals and six rebounds, Nunez scored five points, and Maddie Monson and Marlena Montano had four points apiece. Alyssa Kuskie led the Buckaroos with 11 points.

Postseason play

The six-team Northern Division I-A regional championship tournament will be contested at North Valleys High School in Reno from Thursday through Saturday.

The sixth-seeded Truckee girls (6-10 league) take on third-seeded Elko (12-4) in the quarterfinal round Thursday at 3 p.m. The winner advances to face second-seeded Lowry (13-3) in a semifinal Friday at 3 p.m.

The championship is Saturday at noon, with the top two teams advancing to the state championship tournament at University of Nevada, Reno's Lawlor Events Center on Feb. 26-27.