League play off to a rocky start for TTHS squads
In a busy week for prep sports, the Tahoe-Truckee High School basketball boys’ and girls’ teams each took on two league opponents, with similar results.
Boys’ vs. North Tahoe
Playing to a packed house Jan. 13, the boys’ squad faced North Tahoe in a rematch of a game they had lost earlier in the season.
Despite home-court advantage and an early lead they held onto until the third quarter, the Wolverines could not hang on, losing, 64-51.
“This has been the story all season for us,” said head coach Mike Flohr. “We’ve been putting together one good half and then having a letdown in the second.”
Flohr credited North Tahoe for its third-quarter rally which earned them 26 points.
“The idea was to pack it in and make their guards shoot from outside. The team was instructed not to let Armondo Grajeda shoot any threes, but he made five, so obviously we didn’t get it done,” Flohr said.
The Lakers put on the press, forcing turnovers in the third.
“I’m not too pleased with that,” said Flohr.
The boys also felt the sting of the loss.
“They were disappointed we didn’t turn the corner and put the whole game together,” Flohr said.
Cody Haas led the scoring with 18.
Also pitching in was Mark Logan with 17.
The loss get the boys off to a 0-1 start in league play.
Boys vs. Fernley
The TTHS boys faced off against Fernley for the first time Jan. 17, coming out 50-38 winners.
With a league loss in the negative column, the boys needed a win at the away game.
In the practices leading up to the game, Flohr stressed press break and rebounding with the team. It seemed to work.
At the halfway buzzer, the boys led 28-15.
“Cody Haas had a good first half. The guys went to the basket strong and made good free throws,” said Flohr.
It was an improvement over the game against North Tahoe, in which Truckee was only three for 16 in the free throw category.
“You can’t beat anybody with three for 16,” Flohr said. “That’s not good. We’ve struggled with the free throw all year.”
Flohr said the team caught Fernley on a particularly good night, adding “Fernley looked a little sluggish. They’d had a good win the night before and they honestly didn’t play that well in the second half.
“It’s good to get a win on the road.”
The boys’ team’s league record now stands at 1-1 before a game against Right of Passage Jan. 20.
Girls vs. North Tahoe
If the boys’ dropped the ball at home and performed well on the road, the girls managed the exact opposite.
Against North Tahoe, the girls came on strong, showing their continually more aggressive side, winning 44-29.
Going into the game, head coach Mike Merriman was a little unsure what to expect.
“I was anxious going into it. (North Tahoe’s) improved over the years, and if they can get the ball to Cheyenne Price, they can do a lot of damage,” Merriman said.
Merriman’s plan was to front Price so she couldn’t get the ball.
In the end, the plan seemed to pay off. Price only scored seven points for the night, only two of which were baskets.
Merriman said the most consistent factor in his team’s improvement has been its defense and movement of the ball in zone offenses and opening up shots.
“They’re handling the press pretty well, not turning over the ball,” Merriman said. “The guards are pretty aggressive.”
In the end, the girls won 44-29, but the final is not a clear reflection of the sum of the game.
The Wolverines led 22-9 at halftime. It wasn’t until the fourth quarter that the Lakers came on, outscoring Truckee 14-10.
“But at that time it was pretty well wrapped up,” Merriman said.
Lindsey Back led the team with nine points. Grace Kennelly and Krissy Silva each sscored six.
“It was our first league game, so winning was a good thing,” said senior guard Alli Back. “We ran a lot of press and defense. It came down to teamwork, definitely.”
Girls vs. Fernley
The excellent start in league play, however, would be stopped by an aggressive Fernley team at an away game last week, losing 44-40.
Merriman knew the Fernley team was tough coming into the game.
Though the Truckee girls led 23-13 at the half, they eventually fell 44-40 in what became a tight match that came down to two missed opportunities in the end.
“We probably played the best half of basketball all year (in the first half),” Merriman said.
Merriman opted to employ a Diamond-in-one defense, playing the Vaqueros’ Jamie Wagner one-on-one, which worked well for a while. Wagner only managed two points in the entire first half. She came on strong in the third, eventually posting 14 points for the night.
“We pulled off the defense and went into our regular zone and were still doing a good job,” Merriman said of the adjustments made to Wagner’s attack.
Merriman said Fernley’s team started rebounding more, shooting 27 free throws, while Truckee only hit 10.
“We actually more baskets than they did,” Merriman said.
In fact, Truckee shot 18 baskets to Fernley’s 13. Still, Truckee had a chance at the end. With 1:38 left in the game, the score was tied at 40-40. Jackie Robinson took a shot that almost went in, but Fernley got the rebound and scored quickly.
With 10 seconds left, Fernley stole an inbound pass and scored, putting Fernley at 44-40, the final.
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