Incline basketball: Boys go 2-1, finish third in Truckee tournament
The Highlanders are scheduled to compete in the Whittell Invitational from Wednesday through Saturday. Incline will open Northern Division III play with home games against West Wendover and Battle Mountain next Friday and Saturday, Dec. 18-19.
TRUCKEE — The Incline boys basketball team went 2-1 and finished third in the second annual Truckee Basketball Classic this past Thursday through Saturday.
After defeating Dayton 75-51 on Thursday, the Highlanders gave up a 17-point third-quarter lead in a 41-38 loss to Colfax on Friday. It was Incline’s second three-point loss to Colfax this season.
The Highlanders bounced back from the tough loss to defeat host Truckee 74-45 in the third-place game Saturday.
“I was happy with our intensity,” Incline coach Tim Kelly said of the tournament. “Any time you can go 2-1, it’s good. I wanted 3-0, but I’ll take it. It was a great effort.”
Colfax went on to lose to Lassen, 60-52, in the championship.
The Incline-Truckee game was competitive early, with four ties and five lead changes through the first quarter and a half. The Highlanders took over midway through the second quarter, however, using an aggressive full-court press to end the half on an 18-3 run. Incline led 36-22 at the break.
After an evenly matched third quarter on the scoreboard, the Highlanders outscored the hosts 25-9 in the final frame to pull away — again using their full-court press to cause turnovers and a flurry of fast-break points.
“We tried to switch it up today and not be so easy to predict,” Kelly said of Incline’s off-and-on press. “One of our strengths is changing it up. We’re also long and athletic, and when we rotate as a team we’re tough to score on.”
Four different Highlanders scored in double figures, led by Jon Cromer and Joey Stranzl’s 18 points apiece, Matt Cromer’s 11 points and Jackson Littleton’s 10 points. Matt Cromer was Incline’s Player of the Game after also pulling down a team-high seven rebounds.
Sophomore Gabe Cruz led Truckee with 12 points, while Jenner Tresan added nine points, and Justin Wadsworth and Jose Araiza each scored six.
In the tournament opener against Dayton, the Highlanders outscored the Dust Devils 25-13 in the second quarter to turn a 17-14 deficit into a 39-30 lead by the half. Incline pulled away with a 22-16 third quarter and a 14-5 fourth.
Stranzl and Jon Cromer combined for 42 points, scoring 21 apiece, while Matt Cromer scored 11 points, Jerry Sanchez 10 and Bryan Golombik nine. Sanchez and Jon Cromer each had 10 rebounds.
Against Colfax, Incline built an early 19-8 lead after one quarter and led by as many as 17 in the third quarter. But the Falcons fought back, outscoring the Highlanders 11-7 in the third quarter and 15-4 in the fourth to earn the comeback win.
Freshman point guard Jackson Littleton scored a team-high 10 points, Jon Cromer added seven points, and Blake Perry had six points and nine rebounds.
Incline is now 3-2 on the year.
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Several Truckee-Tahoe skiers will vie for Olympic medals next month.