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Girls eliminated in state by Moapa Valley

JAMES BALL

Fighting to the end, the Tahoe-Truckee High School girls’ basketball team lost its grip on its best chance at a state title in years, and Moapa Valley was there again to take it away.

In the first round of the Nevada state championships Feb. 25 at Lawlor Events Center in Reno, the Wolverines fell to the Pirates 54-36, just a year after losing to them 54-45 in the second round of state.

Again, Moapa’s 6’2″ Jordan Adams was the key to Truckee’s loss.

At the end of the first, Truckee was only down by three, but the Moapa lead was expanded at the half to 17-13.

Moapa outscored the Wolverines 19-12 in the third and 18-11 in the fourth.

“We just couldn’t find a way to stop them,” said girls’ head coach Mike Merriman.

Adams dominated the boards long enough in the third quarter to spark a 12-4 Moapa run.

“That basically cooked us,” said Merriman.

Merriman had his girls press more in the fourth because he thought Moapa would come out with an adjustment that never played out.

“As a matter of fact, they dropped their press, which surprised me and we threw it back on really quickly for a few baskets, but we just couldn’t catch up,” said Merriman. “It just didn’t happen.”

Also, Moapa did not drop its zone as Merriman had anticipated before the game. The Pirates employed a 1-2-2, which stifled senior Ali Back’ s skills.

“We were hoping Ali and Sandy (Theil) would get a lot of open stuff, but that didn’t happen near the way we thought it would,” said Merriman.

In the game, none of the Truckee girls went over the 10-point mark, with Tiffany Sahlman and Lindsey Back scoring six each and Sandy Theil putting up four.

As for the future of Truckee girls’ basketball, Merriman knows it is bright.

Coached by Jon Western, the junior varsity girls won 23 games and took the league championship.

“Mr. Western ran a lot of the same stuff we did, and that was all new to the varsity girls,” said Merriman.

A future player who looks particularly promising is JV player Becca Shook, Merriman said.

This year was Merriman’s first with the girls’ squad. Last year, he coached the varsity boys.

The Truckee girls started the season at 0-3, but quickly caught up to 6-4, eventually ending at 11-12.

“I had hoped to finish the league season at 6-4, but it just didn’t happen,” said Merriman. “But that’s why we play the game.”

Sierra Sun E-mail: sun@tahoe.com

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