Big Northern 3A win for Truckee boys

Sylas Wright
Sierra Sun
Ryan Salm/Sierra SunTruckee High junior Cody Wicks leaps high above the court for a breakaway dunk during the Wolverines' 53-37 win over Sparks on Wednesday. Wicks scored eight points as the Wolverines improved to 5-6 in league.

The Sparks Railroaders never had a chance, really, not with host Truckee playing the way it did Wednesday night.

The Wolverines (5-6, 9-9) wasted little time getting on the board, then blowing the game wide open with sheer energy, sharp shooting and pressure defense. By the time it was over, Truckee had run away with a 53-37 Northern 3A league victory.

“It was just an unbelievable effort on both ends of the floor,” said Truckee head coach Keith Crawford, who was in a light mood after his team’s second consecutive league victory. “I’m fortunate to have a group of guys who defend like that.”

Defend they did, as the Wolverines held the Railroaders (3-8, 4-16) to eight first-quarter points and just 18 in the opening half.

Truckee was equally impressive on offense, which was fueled in large part by relentless defensive pressure by its speedy guards on the perimeter.

When the Wolverines weren’t sprinting down the floor converting on fast-break layups, they were patiently running their slow-down offense, spreading the ball around until a high percentage shot presented itself. It often did.

Senior guard Drew Stewart initiated the scoring with a layup through traffic before sophomore Ryan Roberts slashed the net from behind the 3-point arc 45 seconds into the contest.

That was just the beginning, as Truckee exploded for 22 points in the first quarter ” including a break-away dunk by junior Cody Wicks ” and another 14 in the second to take a comfortable 36-18 lead into the half.

“It was awesome,” Roberts said of the win. “It finally looked like we were playing basketball.”

This after a disappointing first half of the season during which the Wolverines managed only a 2-5 record in the Northern 3A, with five straight league losses between Dec. 13 and Jan. 10 ” including a 48-37 defeat at Sparks on Jan. 3. Since then, however, Truckee is 3-1.

“We kind of realized we were underachieving in the first part of the year and we had to pick it up,” Roberts said. “Now we’re just trying to play to the fullest of our ability.”

Holding a big lead, Truckee slowed its pace offensively in the second half, burning time off the clock and scoring 17 points to the Railroaders’ 19.

Senior guard Chris Beck fired up the Truckee crowd in the waning minutes as he posted four points on a pair of free throws and a layup.

Cory Hoehn led the Wolverines in scoring with 14 points, while Roberts finished with 10, Wicks eight and Stewart six.

“As a team we have that hunger now,” Crawford said. “Every play is worth something to them now. …

“We’re taking it one game at a time, and our common goal is to make the playoffs.”

Truckee hosts Incline on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

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