‘A phenomenal ride’: The Truckee girls’ basketball team won 20 games this season, the most in more than a decade | SierraSun.com

‘A phenomenal ride’: The Truckee girls’ basketball team won 20 games this season, the most in more than a decade

The Truckee girls basketball team huddles up following the team’s loss to Churchill County in the Northern League semifinals. The Lady Wolverines finished the season with a record of 20-6, which is the program’s best mark in more than a decade.
Justin Scacco / jscacco@sierrasunc.om

The Truckee girls’ basketball team had their season come to an end last Friday in the Class 3A Northern League semifinals, falling 58-40 to the two-time defending state champions Churchill County.

“This season, this year, it’s been a phenomenal ride,” said Coach David Shalvis. “Fallon, I can’t say anything but good things about them, I told the girls they needed to dictate the speed and Fallon managed to ramp them up and get them playing faster than they needed to be.”

Truckee kept things close between the teams until roughly the midway point of the second quarter when Churchill County opened a double-digit advantage. The girls were able to slow the tempo in the second half, playing better on both sides of the ball, but the deficit was to great to ever really threaten the Greenwave.

Though the girls finished the year a game shy of their goal of reaching the state tournament, the team, which was compromised of just three seniors, took a big step forward this season, finishing the year with a 20-6 record and beating Fernley in league quarterfinals for the program’s first postseason win since the 2010-11 campaign.

“This team getting this far for the first time … that experience and the wisdom that comes with getting older will definitely add to these players and their games,” said Shalvis.

Truckee doubled its league wins from a year ago, closing the regular season with a 12-5 record in Northern League play. The team’s 20 overall wins are the most in more than a decade for the program.

Senior Ava Seelenfreund led a team the young Truckee lineup to the third highest scoring average of any team in the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association this season, regardless of class, at 55.4 points per game.

Seelenfreund averaged a team-high 12.8 points per game and 4.1 steals per game. She also averaged 7.8 rebounds per game, and 2.3 assists per game. Seelenfreund’s impact on the team, however, went beyond the stat sheet. The senior forward was the calming force behind a talented group of younger players, allowing those around her to play freely and taking over stretches of games when Truckee needed it most.

During Truckee’s game against Fernley in the quarterfinals, Seelenfreund scored six points to help turn a tied game into an eight point lead en route to a victory against the Vaqueros

“She showed what maturity a senior has, and does what she needs to do,” said Shalvis. “It gave the rest of them the ability to calm down and win the game.”

Sophomore Annika Thayer emerged as a force in the post this season and will be a problem for the rest of the league for two more years. Thayer scored 9.3 points per game, and had team highs in rebounds (8.5 per game) and blocks (2.5 per game).

From the perimeter, Truckee junior Elena Friedman, sophomore Emma Cooley, and freshman Ryan Flynn combined for 82 3-pointers this season on 31 percent shooting.

Junior Emily Monson and sophomore Lauren Tanner each averaged more than five points per contest for Truckee while also combining to average more than 12 rebounds each game. Senior Tommi Jepsen led Truckee in assists this season, averaging 3.8 per game.

The Wolverines will lose seniors Seelenfreund, Jepsen, and Laura Zirate-Molina.

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at jscacco@sierrasun.com.