Boys’ hoops: Truckee overpowered in opener | SierraSun.com

Boys’ hoops: Truckee overpowered in opener

Photo by Josh Miller/Sierra SunTruckee's Mike Hoopingarner (right) scored six points in Truckee's season-opening loss to Hug on Tuesday night.
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In the midst of a 25-2 game-clinching, second-quarter run by visiting Hug, Truckee head coach Keith Crawford turned to his bench and said, “We’re terrified.”

After 3A Truckee played head-up with the 4A Reno school for a little more than a quarter, the Hawks overpowered the Wolverines in the second period, busting open an 11-10 Truckee lead en route to an intimidating 56-26 win on Truckee’s home court.

“It’s almost like when a snake attacks, and you don’t have time to react,” Crawford said after losing his debut as Truckee head coach. “You get down 20 points and you start thinking, but you can’t think out here. You have to react.”

Although overmatched, Truckee clung to a 9-8 lead at the end of the first quarter. Sophomore guard Drew Stewart made the Wolverines’ first seven points, including a three-pointer shortly after the opening tip-off.

“We played a great first quarter, then they made a few threes and wow – we’re down by 20,” said Crawford, who was an assistant coach at Hug last season.

With Hug up 13-11 early in the second period, sophomore guard Armon Johnson buried two three-pointers to spark a 19-0 Hawks’ run that finally ended partway through the third quarter with a pair of Mike Hoopingarner free throws. Led by Johnson’s 16 points, Hug outscored Truckee 41-4 in the second and third quarters.

“I told my guys, ‘If we play the whole season and we just play one quarter, then we’ll be in the game,'” Crawford said. “Unfortunately, we have to play four quarters. We have to play intense for 32 minutes.”

Johnson’s success from the perimeter was a side note, however, as the Hug defense pressured Truckee ball-handlers into turnover situations, leading to easy lay-ups and numerous fastbreak points. Hug guards Darryl Feemster, Eddie Crawford and Isaac Porter made life miserable for Truckee’s guards.

“We’re not going to see any more teams this year that pressures like Hug High School,” Crawford said. “We could barely run our system because the guys were pressured too much. We’ll be fine in the 3A. There’s 4A teams that can’t withstand that pressure.”

Hug’s inside game wasn’t shabby either, as senior forward Tabarri Hamilton contributed 10 points to the winning effort.

Truckee enjoyed a bit of redemption, however, in the closing minutes. Led by Jamie Maehler’s five fourth-quarter points, Truckee scored the last nine points of the game and outscored Hug 13-7 in the final period. Maehler and Stewart finished with seven points, and Hoopingarner had six.

Crawford said he wanted to challenge his team while the season is young.

“When I made this schedule over the summer, I figured let’s get this game out of the way early,” he said. “I wanted to get a game that was going to challenge us early. I told them not to drop their heads. This is game No. 1, and it doesn’t make or break our season.”

Truckee will play Thursday, Dec. 2, at Quincy High School at 7 p.m. in the second game of the Quincy “Tip-Off” Tournament that will run through Saturday, Dec. 4. See schedule below.

-Varsity schedule: (All Upper Gym)

Thursday, Dec. 2

5:30 p.m. Portola vs. Lassen

7 p.m. Quincy vs. Truckee

Friday, Dec. 3

7 p.m. Portola vs. Truckee

8:30 p.m. Quincy vs. Lassen

Saturday, Dec. 4

12:30 p.m. Truckee vs. Lassen

2 p.m. Quincy vs. Portola

-Junior varsity schedule

Thursday, Dec. 2

5:30 p.m. Quincy vs. Truckee (Lower Gym)

7 p.m. Portola vs. Lassen (Lower Gym)

Friday, Dec. 3

4 p.m. Portola vs. Truckee (Upper Gym)

5:30 p.m. Quincy vs. Lassen (Upper Gym)

Saturday, Dec. 4

12:30 p.m. Quincy vs. Portola (Lower Gym)

2 p.m. Truckee vs. Lassen (Lower Gym)