Truckee basketball | Girls fall to Spring Creek in state semifinal | SierraSun.com

Truckee basketball | Girls fall to Spring Creek in state semifinal

Sylas Wright
Sierra Sun
Shannon Litz / Sun News ServiceTruckee junior center Aleigh Krug tosses up a shot during the Wolverines' season-ending, 49-37 loss to Spring Creek in the state championship tournament Friday at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. For more photos from the game, go to www.sierrasun.com/photos.
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Before the opening tip-off of Fridayand#8217;s 3A state semifinal was ever sent in the air, the Spring Creek girls’ basketball team already held a distinct advantage over the Wolverines.

And it had nothing to do with physical ability.

and#8220;It was a mental game for us,and#8221; said Truckee head coach Caroline Bechdolt, explaining how her team did not play up to par in a 49-37 state tournament loss in Las Vegas. and#8220;It was a mental thing. We could have beat them.and#8221;

The Spartans, who went on to win their fourth state title in six years the following day, carry that kind of an aura as one of the leagueand#8217;s perennial basketball powers.

Still, Bechdolt hoped for a better showing from her Wolverines after entering the state tournament on a 14-game win streak, including a thrilling 53-47 overtime win against Elko in their regional qualifier. But it was not meant to be at Orleans Arena on Friday.

After a shaky start by both teams, Spring Creek took advantage of a couple second-chance baskets to pull ahead, 10-5, by the end of the first quarter. Spring Creek picked up its aggressiveness in the second quarter, beating Truckee to loose balls and offensive rebounds while benefiting at the free-throw line in the double bonus.

Truckee junior center Aleigh Krug was one of the Wolverines who found herself in foul trouble, as she picked up her third with just over 2 minutes to play in the half. By that time the Spring Creek lead had grown to double-digits, at 21-9, before Truckee trimmed it to 24-14 by the midway point.

With Krug hamstrung near her foul limit, the Spartans continued to control the boards after the half as they took their largest lead of the game, at 34-22, halfway through the third quarter.

But the Wolverines had some fight left in them, as they scored six straight points between the end of the third and start of fourth to shave to lead to four, 35-31.

The Spartans had an answer, however. After a quick basket followed by a 3-pointer, the lead was back to nine points. Spring Creek then went on an 11-4 run to pull away for good.

and#8220;We didnand#8217;t get any rebounds because we werenand#8217;t boxing out, and we werenand#8217;t closing out on and#8216;D.and#8217; The fundamentals went out the window. We beat ourselves,and#8221; Bechdolt said.

Truckee senior point guard Megan Shalvis and senior shooting guard Aly Coronado-Smith scored 11 points apiece to lead the Wolverines, while Krug finished with eight points and 13 rebounds.

Four Spartans and#8212; Zulieka Grinsell, Stacey Kerr, Emily Hicks and Madi Estes and#8212; scored in double figures as Kerr had 11 points and 14 rebounds and Hicks 10 points and 15 rebounds.

Bechdolt said while she and the Truckee girls were disappointed their title run fell short, they also were proud of what they accomplished this season. After a 4-6 start, they finished 18-7 overall.

and#8220;They (the girls) were upset after the game, but they also realize was a great season,and#8221; Bechdolt said. and#8220;It was a weird start, but the girls know they made it that far, and theyand#8217;re proud of that.

and#8220;I definitely am (proud). They came a long way.and#8221;

For more photos from the game, go to http://www.sierrasun.com/photos.

and#8212; Information for this article was used from the Elko Daily Free Press.