Truckee basketball | Boys struggle offensively in loss to Highlanders |

Truckee basketball | Boys struggle offensively in loss to Highlanders

Sylas Wright / Sierra SunAdam Morgan drives to the basket during the Wolverines' 52-47 loss at Incline on Friday. Close looks at the hoop were rare for Truckee, which settled mostly for outside shots.

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. and#8212; All game long Friday night, the Highlanders dared the visiting Truckee boys to shoot the ball from the perimeter.

The strategy proved effective as Truckee continually misfired from outside until the final minutes, and Incline held on for a 52-47 Mount Rose League win.

and#8220;They don’t have a ton of great shooters,and#8221; said Incline head coach Brian Broaddus. and#8220;They are big and physical and always play hard, but we thought if we backed off and gave them some space to shoot, it would work out in our favor.and#8221;

Indeed it did for the first-place Highlanders, who led 14-9 after one quarter and 22-17 at the half before holding Truckee to a goose egg in the third quarter.

and#8220;Our shooting percentage was terrible,and#8221; said Truckee head coach Angelo Tenorio, adding that five Truckee players suited up despite having the flu. and#8220;We couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn. We kind of live or die by our shooting. We played hard, but Incline played well enough to beat us.and#8221;

Incline could have put the game away for good after Truckee’s porous third-quarter shooting performance. But the Highlanders managed only seven points themselves in the quarter and#8212; partially due to the Wolverines’ scrappy man-to-man defense and#8212; to extend the lead to 29-17 entering the fourth.

and#8220;Part of the problem was that we weren’t taking it inside and getting their big guys in foul trouble,and#8221; Tenorio said. and#8220;We talked about that, but we just couldn’t make it happen.and#8221;

The Highlanders took their largest lead at 35-21 after a Bobby Thoms free throw with about five minutes remaining. But Truckee responded with a three-point play by Zac Pettit and another bucket inside by Trent McMullen to cut into the double-digit lead.

Truckee hit a couple of threes in the final minutes as it resorted to fouling to stop the clock. A trey by Clayton O’Connell with 30 seconds left narrowed the score to 47-43, but Incline guards Jordan Wright and Kyle Clouthier converted at the free-throw line to keep the Wolverines at bay. Truckee’s Graham Millie made a three before the buzzer to bring the final score back to a five-point margin.

and#8220;If we could have made some of our shots earlier, who knows what would have happened,and#8221; Tenorio said. and#8220;We were almost able to come back at the end. I’m proud of the kids.and#8221;

Broaddus credited his team for continuing to find ways to win, despite playing without two of its best players. Senior forward Patrick Murray is out with a knee injury, although he is expected to return in time for the postseason, while sophomore guard Orin Porter Jr. is academically ineligible.

and#8220;It was ugly, but we keep finding a way to do just enough,and#8221; Broaddus said.

Mitch Gehring led the Highlanders with 14 points, while Clouthier scored 13, including three three-pointers in the first half, and Max Osborne had 10. O’Connell posted a team-high 13 points for the Wolverines and Adam Morgan had 11.

Incline improved to 8-1 in Mount Rose League play and 20-5 overall with one game remaining. Truckee posted a final regular-season record of 6-4 in the MRL and 11-11 overall.

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