Girls’ hoops: Truckee beats rivals despite pre-game injury
The biggest play of the Northern 3A league opener between the Truckee and North Tahoe girls’ basketball teams might have happened before tip-off. During warm ups, Truckee’s leading scorer, Felicia Tenorio, went down with a twisted ankle.
“All the girls’ heads dropped,” said Truckee head coach Angelo Tenorio. “They got nervous because she wasn’t able to handle the ball. They played tentative.”
The injury and tentative play turned what could’ve been a lopsided game against the winless Lakers into an evenly-contested match ” at least for the better part of three quarters. It wasn’t until the fourth quarter that the Wolverines’ (6-2, 1-0) lead reached double digits, an advantage they held for a 49-26 victory.
“Our nerves against our rivals made it take three quarters to settle down,” coach Tenorio said. “Once we did, we made some of the baskets we missed early.”
Truckee missed several baskets early. In the first half, the team shot 21 percent from the field, converting on only nine of its 41 attempts. Many of those attempts were created by the team’s full court press, which caused the Lakers (0-5, 0-1) to cough up 10 turnovers on its 19 first half possessions.
“The girls played well,” coach Tenorio said. “They worked extremely hard on defense as a unit. Tonight was a real example of that.”
Despite the strong defensive performance, the Wolverines managed to lead by only three points at halftime.
“We missed a lot of easy baskets,” coach Tenorio said. “We rushed our shots and played tentative.”
It wasn’t until midway through the fourth quarter that the Wolverines appeared to settle in and find their rhythm. Kelly Stephens sparked the turn around, scoring all nine of her points in less than a minute to give her team a 20-point lead at 42-22.
“She’s struggled with her shot as a younger player this year,” coach Tenorio said, “but she made some shots and played some defense. She was the spark, and it showed us what she’s capable of.”
Stephens’ effort ignited a quarter in which the Wolverines shot 53 percent from the floor, lifting their overall percentage to 30 percent on the game. The defense, which forced 39 total turnovers, was key to keeping the team ahead throughout the game.
Jesse Lamm led Truckee with 12 points. Tenorio ” who stayed in the game despite the injury ” and Stephens each added nine.
The Truckee junior varsity girls’ basketball team improved its overall record to 6-2 with a 52-19 win at North Tahoe on Wednesday night. More importantly, the Wolverines are 1-0 in league. Breanne Busby led the team in scoring with nine points, and Lindsay Holt had eight.