Boys’ hoops: Wolverines edge Incline on the road
Incline tied the game four times but led only once in what was a closely contested 67-61 loss to Northern 3A foes Truckee Tuesday night at home.
In 32 minutes of basketball, the Highlanders (2-8, 0-1) never let the lead go beyond eight and made some key shots and aggressive plays on defense to stay in the game, but eventually gave the game to Truckee (5-6, 3-1) after going 13-for-33 from the free throw line.
Head coach Dan Schreiber said a majority of the Highlanders’ eight losses can be attributed to poor free throw shooting.
“This is the sixth game we’ve lost this year because of the line,” Schreiber said. “If we shoot 50 percent from the free-throw line, we win that game. It’s been the same story all season.”
Truckee, who led for almost the entire game, ended up going home with its third league win in four tries, matching first-place Yerington for the most wins in the Northern 3A.
The Highlanders, who never led in the first half, found themselves down by only three after one quarter and came back in the second to tie the game at 21. Senior Ian Ferris hit a crucial three-pointer to tie the game at 27 in the final minute of the first half and Truckee answered back with a quick layup.
Pete Loeschner then took the ball to the basket to put up two points at the buzzer, tying the game at 29 going into the half.
Loeschner came out strong in the third, putting up four quick points and giving Incline the lead. Incline then led for most of the third quarter before poor free throw shooting gave the lead back to Truckee, who led 47-45 after three.
After that, it was all Truckee. Incline kept the game within three for almost the entire fourth quarter, but went just 6-for-16 from the line compared to Truckee, who went 12-for-18.
“We were getting all the shots we wanted,” Schreiber said. “If we make our free throws, we could score 90 points per game. It’s a correctable problem, it’s just a matter of getting that boost of confidence from everyone on the team.”
Incline’s defense had a hard time stopping the offense of Jamie Maehler, who put up a total of 21 points, grabbed 15 rebounds and went 7-for-14 from the line.
“(Maehler) sets the tone for us on both ends of the floor,” said Truckee head coach Keith Crawford. “He got the ball in and did a great job of boxing out. He had a monstrous game on the boards.”
Drew Stewart put up 19 points for Truckee and went 9-for-12 from the free-throw line.
“It was a good win going into the Christmas break,” Crawford said. “The first few games have been about the offense breaking down defensive rotations, and the guys are starting to buy into the system.”
Senior Brian Fisher put up 11 points for the Highlanders and collected five rebounds, but went just 1-for-11 from the line. Incline newcomer Dillan Meredith’s inside presence helped keep Incline in the game; he had 11 rebounds, six of which came off the offensive glass.
Loeschner also put up 11 points for the Highlanders, took seven rebounds and went 1-4 from the line. Both Meredith and Fisher fouled out in the final minutes of the game.
Schreiber said his team really needs to work on making shots from the line because every team in the league plays aggressive and makes shots.
“Every game is going to be like this,” he said. “They are going to be intense and physical. No game is going to be a blowout.”
Incline will face Truckee again at Truckee on Friday, Jan. 7.
The Highlander boys’ junior varsity team also fell to Truckee (9-2, 4-0) with a final score of 63-34 Tuesday night. The Highlanders put up 24 points in the first half, with 15 coming in the second quarter, to stay in the game, but scored only 10 in the entire second half compared to Truckee’s 26.
Dylan Seacrest put up 11 points for Truckee. Kyle Rinella went perfect from the line going 3-for-3 and also put up nine points. Gavin Novotny also put up nine points and went 3-for-4 from the line.