Jansen wins head coaching debut
After three consecutive seasons losing to the Loyalton High School Grizzlies, the Truckee High School boys’ varsity basketball team got its revenge in the opening game of the season Tuesday night.
The victory was the first of Head Coach Josh Jansen’s varsity basketball career.
The outside shooting tandem of senior Brian McMullen and junior Paul Tierney proved to be the difference as the Wolverines held off the Grizzlies, 45-31.
McMullen and Tierney combined to score 30 points on seven, three-pointers and nine free throws between them.
“We had worked on playing against a zone defense,” said Jansen, who is in his first year at Truckee High. “It turned out that a lot of the shots we got were from the outside. We’re going to work on getting better looks as the season progresses.”
Truckee began to pull away late in the third quarter on Tierney’s third of four three-pointers on the night. With the score 21-20, Tierney buried a three from center court that put Truckee ahead to stay. The shot was the beginning of a 10-0 run that was capped off by Tierney’s final three-pointer of the game.
The home crowd, which had been quiet most of the night, began to feel the energy of opening night. Loyalton would get within five, but it could not mount a comeback on this night.
With a slight advantage in team size, most of Loyalton’s success came from its inside game.
“We are a small team,” Jansen said. “We are going to have to use our quickness and athletic ability to win games. Our focus is going to be on defense.”
Truckee’s Jamie Maehler, the tallest Wolverine and a Northern 3A honorable mention selection last season, was a force inside in the fourth quarter, squashing Loyalton’s hopes a fourth consecutive victory over Truckee.
Maehler and Michael Hoopingarner each scored six points on inside shots and free throws. They combined for 11 rebounds in the paint.
The game was scoreless nearly 2:30 into the first quarter until Tierney hit his first three of the night, falling on his back as the shot sailed through the net. Those were the only points the Wolverines would muster in the first quarter, as they trailed 8-3 to start the second quarter.
But, in what turned out to the opening night theme, successive threes by Tierney and McMullen put Truckee back in the lead, 9-8. McMullen’s final three-pointer of the night broke a 17-17 tie in the third quarter.
Tierney finished with 17 points and six rebounds, going 4 for 7 from three-point range. McMullen had five steals in addition to his 13 points.
Truckee will compete in the Quincy tournament this weekend, and on Tuesday they come back home to host Pyramid Lake at 7:30 p.m.
Junior varsity boys’ results:
Truckee 64, Loyalton 27
Leading scorers: Brandon Peterson, 14; Kyle Steverman, 12;
Erik Newland, 12
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Students frustrated at the cancellation of sports waved signs and delivered speeches at a Truckee High School protest in an attempt to return to the field this year.