Incline boys take down Wolverines
There’s no telling which Truckee High basketball team is going to take the floor on any given day. On Saturday, it was the one-step-behind, too-little-too-late squad.
The Wolverines never held a lead and trailed by as many as 21 points en route to a 65-56 loss to the visiting Incline Highlanders on Saturday.
“That’s a tough pill to swallow,” said Truckee head coach Keith Crawford. “I thought we were prepared for everything that happened here, but I guess not.”
Truckee and Incline are now tied for fifth in the Northern 3A with 5-7 league records. Dayton (11-0) is in first, followed by Yerington (8-3), Spring Creek (8-4) and Lowry (7-5). Four league games remain on the Wolverines’ schedule, and the top six teams earn a shot to compete in the regional playoffs.
“We’ll see what happens with these other games in league,” a baffled Crawford said after Saturday’s loss, which came after impressive back-to-back wins over Lowry and Sparks.
But just when the coach thought the Wolverines had developed the “hunger” necessary to close out the season, they absorbed an especially costly setback. With wins in both regular season meetings, Incline now owns the head-to-head tie-breaker advantage over Truckee when it comes to playoff consideration.
The Highlanders simply beat the Wolverines to the punch from the opening tipoff, scoring 22 first-quarter points on four 3-pointers as they continually connected on open shots. Truckee junior Cody Wicks hit a 3-point shot before the first quarter ended to bring the Wolverines to within 22-13.
“We allowed them to take it to us,” Crawford said, referring to the ease with which the Highlanders’ were able to score.
Truckee stepped up its defensive intensity in the second quarter, holding Incline to nine points while closing the gap to five, at 31-26, by the break.
The third period nearly mirrored the first, with Incline coming out shooting, and hitting, and outscoring the Wolverines 22-8 to take a 53-34 lead into the final quarter.
A bucket to begin the fourth gave the Highlanders their biggest lead at 55-34.
At that point the Wolverines elevated their level of play, driving aggressively to the hoop and drawing fouls ” and committing a few of their own on charges ” and playing tighter defense.
But the effort was too little too late, as Truckee outscored the Highlanders 22-12 over the final eight minutes. Wicks knocked down a long-range 3-pointer to make it a single-digit deficit as the final buzzer sounded.
Gavin Novotny scored nine of his team-high 16 points in the fourth quarter, while Wicks finished with 11 points and Pat Galvin nine.
Truckee visits rival North Tahoe on Wednesday at 6 p.m. The game was originally scheduled for Friday at 7:30 p.m. but was moved up two days and to a different time.
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