Truckee basketball: Girls eliminated by Elko in regional quarterfinal
RENO — The sixth-seeded Truckee girls faced an uphill challenge in the Northern Division I-A regional championships, starting with their quarterfinal matchup against third-seeded Elko on Thursday.
The Indians, backed by playoff experience and a supportive crowd that packed the North Valleys gym, took advantage of the Wolverines’ early-game jitters to build a double-digit lead and hang on for the 40-33 win.
“That whole group hadn’t been to the playoffs before, so they were a little shell-shocked at the beginning,” Truckee coach Dave Shalvis said of his team. “And Elko travels well. They brought their whole band and cheerleaders and all their fans.”
Elko went on to lose in the semifinal round, 59-43, to second-seeded Lowry, which went on to upset top-seeded Fallon, 40-39, in the regional championship.
After giving the Indians a tough game in the teams’ last meeting before losing by six, Truckee fell behind 15-5 by the end of the first quarter and trailed 24-16 at the half.
Senior point guard Sydney Mock and teammates broke the Indians’ full-court press with ease early in the contest, forcing Elko to abandon the strategy. Despite the opportunity to set up their half-court offense, however, the Wolverines struggled to knock down shots.
“We just couldn’t find the bottom of the basket at all. There were plenty of second and third shots, but we just couldn’t get anything to drop in the first half,” Shalvis said.
Truckee’s scoring woes continued into the third quarter. The Wolverines scored just two points in the frame as the Indians extend their lead to 15 points, 33-18. Elko led by as many as 20, at 38-18, in the opening minutes of the fourth.
The Wolverines battled back and outscored the Indians 15-7 down the final stretch, including an 8-0 run. Mock led the charge, going 7-of-9 from free-throw line en route to a game-high 18 points. But it wasn’t enough to overcome the large deficit.
Junior forward Maddie Monson scored seven points for the Wolverines, Marlena Montano scored six and Adela Ortiz had two. Junior guard Alicia Marin led Elko with 11 points.
Despite the early exit from the tournament, Shalvis said he was pleased with his team’s overall body of work and improvement. The Wolverines posted a final record of 12-15 overall and finished 6-11 against the Northern Division I-A.
“I was really happy with [the season]. The girls really came together as a team,” Shalvis said. “It was probably the best, most cohesive team we’ve had in awhile. They had each other’s backs and were always encouraging to each other. They really became a strong defensive team and were known for their scrappiness.”
Truckee is set to lose four seniors to graduation — Mock, Ortiz, Karina Nunez and Nikole Rathbun.