Truckee girls lose to league leaders | SierraSun.com

Truckee girls lose to league leaders

Sylas Wright
Sierra Sun

Ryan Salm/Sierra SunTruckee High senior Kelly Stephens squares up for a 3-point shot Friday.

The Spring Creek Spartans and Lowry Buckaroos left little doubt this past weekend that they are the teams to beat in the Northern 3A.

League-leading Spring Creek (9-0) left town with its undefeated record intact after defeating host Truckee 56-46 on Friday. The Buckaroos (8-1) ” whose one loss in league play came against the Spartans ” maintained a firm grasp on second place with a 47-34 win the following day.

Spring Creek and Lowry have accounted for all four of Truckee’s league losses, leaving the Wolverines in third place at 6-4 (12-6 overall).

Despite the final score and the fact that Truckee led only once early in the first quarter, the Wolverines remained very much in the game throughout.

“It was a great game. We played incredibly well,” Truckee head coach Angelo Tenorio said, comparing Friday’s loss to the one earlier in the season. “We did a much better job defensively, and boxed out and rebounded much better this game.”

Senior point guard Kelly Stephens led the Wolverines in scoring with 24 points, including three 3-point baskets. Megan Kotko contributed eight points and Breanne Busby six.

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On the other side, Johnna Ward, a University of Nevada signee whose 21.3-point-per-game average ranks second in greater Nevada, according to Nevadaprep.com, dropped 31 points against the Wolverines.

The first half was well played by both teams, with Spring Creek establishing a tight full-court pressure defense and taking a 14-9 lead by the end of the opening quarter. By the end of the half, the Spartans led 31-25.

The Wolverines came out in the second half prepared to break the Spring Creek press. And they did.

Five minutes into the third quarter Truckee had pulled to within two points, at 39-37, after repeatedly beating the Spartans’ defense down court and converting on fast breaks. Spring Creek called off its full-court press as the Wolverines gained momentum. At the end of three quarters, Truckee trailed 44-42.

The Spartans opened the fourth quarter with a different look defensively, switching from the zone defense the Wolverines had figured out to new man-to-man look. It worked.

“The girls froze a little bit and started playing tentatively,” Tenorio said.

The result was a four-point output over the final eight minutes as the Spartans pulled away for the 10-point win.

“Spring Creek definitely stepped it up,” Tenorio said.

Lowry simply wore down Truckee on its home court Saturday, holding the Wolverines to single digits in scoring in each of the four quarters and only 11 points in the second half.

“Playing these two teams back to back was tough,” Tenorio said. “The girls just ran out of steam.”

Truckee kept the contest close in the first half, ending the first quarter down 12-9 and trailing 18-17 at the half.

In spite of their effort, however, Truckee players had trouble finding their touch as the game progressed.

“We played a really good first half. The girls came out ready to play,” Tenorio said. “The second half we struggled offensively. We weren’t making our shots. It was just one of those games.”

Truckee hosts Sparks on Wednesday at 6 p.m. and Incline on Saturday at 2 p.m.