Truckee boys knock off Lowry | SierraSun.com

Truckee boys knock off Lowry

Sylas Wright
Sierra Sun

Ryan Salm/Sierra SunTruckee High senior Cole Froelich drives to the basket against visiting Spring Creek on Friday. The Wolverines split their two games over the weekend, losing 63-53 to the Spartans on Friday and beating Lowry 47-34 on Saturday.

The Truckee High boys basketball team salvaged a split hosting two of the top three squads in the Northern 3A this past weekend.

After coming up short against Spring Creek for the second time this season Friday night, this time by the score of 63-53, the Wolverines bounced back the following day to defeat Lowry 47-34.

“It was a big win. We needed that one,” senior point guard Cole Froelich said of Saturday’s victory. “That put us right back in the mix of things for playoffs.”

Truckee ” which was defeated 67-58 at Lowry on Jan. 5 and 68-44 at Spring Creek on Jan. 6 ” held onto the fifth spot in the league standings with a 4-6 record (8-9 overall). Spring Creek and Lowry are tied for third at 7-3, while undefeated Dayton (9-0) controls the top spot and Yerington (7-2) is second.

Six league games remain, with the regular season culminating at Yerington on Feb. 9 and the top six teams advancing to the regional postseason tournament in mid February.

“I’ve got a gut feeling that in the (Northern) 3A, 6-10 might get you in the playoffs,” said Truckee head coach Keith Crawford. “But the only way for us to get in the playoffs is to win games.”

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The Wolverines looked decidedly more capable of that on Saturday.

Truckee played like a team feeling the urgency to win entering a crucial final stretch of the season. Given the Wolverines’ situation, the effort was fitting.

“In the three years I’ve been here, this was by far one of the biggest wins we’ve had,” Crawford said. “The guys left it all out on the floor. They did everything well.”

The coach was particularly pleased with his team’s improved rebounding as well as its ability to handle Lowry’s pressure defense.

“It was impressive to watch them play,” Crawford said. “They made plays to win the game.”

The contest began as a defensive battle, with the Buckaroos leading 8-7 at the end of one quarter. Truckee then heated up in the second while continuing its defensive intensity, outscoring Lowry 24-7 and taking a commanding 31-15 lead into the half.

Many of the Wolverines’ points came on fast breaks created by steals, as Truckee players relentlessly hounded Lowry ballhandlers. Senior Brian Cordell provided a spark off the bench with pestering defense and four consecutive points ” on a baseline drive and a running jumper in the paint ” to begin the quarter. Froelich, among others, also contributed to the run with hustle plays and energy.

Seniors Drew Stewart and Cory Hoehn led the team in scoring, each with 12 points, and Cordell added five points. Hoehn also had eight rebounds.

Truckee slowed down its game on offense in the second half, burning as much time off the clock as possible before oftentimes feeding Hoehn down low for an easy bucket. Lowry managed to score 19 points to Truckee’s 16 during the final two quarters, and Truckee held on for the 47-34 win.

“I hope the guys keep that fire going in the next couple weeks here,” Crawford said.

On Friday night, the Wolverines came out flat against the Spartans and quickly found themselves in a 10-0 hole.

“We were not aggressive defensively during the first two minutes of the game,” Crawford said. “I wouldn’t say it was laziness in our part, we just weren’t flying out on shooters.”

Hoehn finally put Truckee on the board with a bucket in the paint after more than two minutes of play. Spring Creek’s Tony Gill, a 6-foot-5 senior, controlled the interior throughout much of the contest, however, scoring at will when fed down low and finishing with a game-high 28 points.

“We made him look like an all-state player,” Crawford said.

Truckee fell behind as many as 16 points before bringing the score to 24-12 by the end of the quarter and 34-27 by the end of the half. The second half of play remained even, with the Spartans posting 11 points to the Wolverines’ eight in the third quarter and each team scoring 18 in the fourth.

The difference in the game ” besides the 10-0 Spring Creek run to start the opening quarter ” was free throws, as Truckee connected on just 7 of 26 from the charity stripe.

Hoehn and junior Pat Galvin led the Wolverines in scoring with 17 points apiece.

Truckee hosts Sparks on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. and Incline on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.