Lady Wolverines struggle
Last week was another difficult one on the road for the Lady Wolverine basketball team as they lost three straight games to Yerington (62-40), Lowry (50-34) and Spring Creek (62-33).
Merriman’s team continued to play disjointedly, combining moments of great skill and teamwork with frustration and total defensive breakdown. In all three games, turnovers continued to plague the TNT ballers, who lost possession more than 20 times in just the first half of Wednesday’s Yerington game.
For Coach Merriman, the most frustrating aspect of the Wolverines recent play is the team’s slow start followed by strong comebacks in the second half of play.
This pattern occurred against Yerington and Lowry. After closing the first half down 40-16 to the Lions, Truckee played strong ball with aggressive rebounding in the third and fourth quarters, outscoring the Lions 24-22.
This comeback was not enough to put the fired-up Wolverines back on top, after such a considerable score disadvantage.
Inconsistency in shooting among TNT’s top players also posed a problem for the team all week as Heather Shove netted 19 points for the day against Yerington, while star Lauren Gordon walked away with four.
The team’s offensive leaders switched roles on Saturday, Jan. 6 against Spring Creek as Shove scored four points while Gordon led the team with 19.
“Consistent shooting is essential, until we coordinate everyone together it will be difficult to pull out the win,” Merriman said.
Friday’s game against Lowry mirrored the strong third and fourth quarter play of the Yerington game as the Wolverines scored more points in the third quarter than they did in the first half, outscoring the Buckaroos in the last 30 minutes of play 24-23.
Unfortunately for Truckee, two strong, dominating halfs in two games do not add up to a win, and the team returned to practice this week to rework their passing and defensive drills.
“We just need to put it all together,” said Merriman this week, as he struggles to rebuild his team’s confidence and “keep up the pressure on the court” in the face of hard pressing teams.
After struggling to run an effective offense in the first two non-league games this season, the Wolverines have looked confident in their drives in recent play, and Merriman has shifted their focus to the defensive side of play.
The team’s significant loss to Spring Creek on Saturday, Jan. 6 was largely due to Wolverine panic when pressured in the back court.
“We need to stop throwing the ball away and make good passes during the press,” said Merriman, as the team looks toward two games at home this week against Manogue on Friday, Jan. 12 and North Tahoe on Saturday.
Saturday’s boys and girls varsity games against North Tahoe will be televised on Channel 6 at 1 p.m. and will be replayed on Tuesday, Jan. 16 at 7 p.m.
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As seniors from North Tahoe collected diplomas this week, a group of Lakers continued another local tradition — capturing first place at the boys’ regional golf championship.