Truckee basketball | Team effort puts boys back on winning track |

Truckee basketball | Team effort puts boys back on winning track

Sylas Wright / Sierra SunAdam Morgan goes to the floor to secure a loose ball during the Wolverines' 60-54 win against Dayton on Saturday. Morgan scored 15 points in the win.

TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; The Wolverines and#8211; hungry for a win after a recent slump and#8211; weren’t about to let this one slip away.

The Truckee boys’ basketball team turned a one-point halftime deficit into a double-digit lead midway through the fourth quarter, then had to fend off a strong comeback effort by a resilient Dayton squad in the final minutes to hold on for a 60-54 3A crossover win.

and#8220;That was a great game. It was a battle,and#8221; said Truckee coach Angelo Tenorio. and#8220;Dayton is a good ball club. They didn’t quit. They kept coming at us, so that was good for our kids to face that kind of an effort and fight through it.and#8221;

The late surge by the Dust Devils, who trailed 50-37 with about 3 1/2 minutes to go, was their second comeback of the game.

Using its length to control the boards, Truckee jumped out to a 16-8 lead after the first quarter before Dayton responded with four straight points to open the second.

Dayton continued to chip away at the lead throughout the quarter, taking advantage of an aggressive Truckee defense that put the visitors in the bonus early, and at the free-throw line often. Dayton’s Dylan Taylor and Tyler Firestone combined to score the final nine points of the quarter to give the Dust Devils their first lead of the game at 23-22 entering the half.

After the break, Truckee switched up its defense from man-to-man to zone as its offense began to find creases against Dayton’s own 2-3 zone. David Burnham drained a three-ball at the start of the third quarter to give the lead back to the Wolverines, who extended the advantage to seven points, 39-32, by the end of the period.

Dayton’s Cody Yeater hit a big three in the opening minute of the fourth, but Truckee responded with three consecutive buckets in the paint, all by junior post Adam Morgan.

After Truckee guard Graham Millie sunk a three-pointer to push the lead to 50-37 with 3:45 remaining, Dayton coach Jason Santos switched to an aggressive man defense and full-court press that caused numerous Truckee turnovers.

and#8220;They didn’t really handle the pressure that well and we were able to get some turnovers off of that,and#8221; Santos said. and#8220;We closed the gap a little, but it’s been the same story all year. We dig ourselves a hole in the first half and we can’t pull it off in the end.and#8221;

The Dust Devils shaved the lead to six points on a couple of occasions down the final stretch, but Truckee post Clayton O’Connell came up big with a bucket in the paint off an assist from Morgan before icing the game with four free throws in the final minute. Truckee’s big men played unselfishly throughout the contest, resulting in many assists and easy points down low.

and#8220;They put a little more pressure on us (in the fourth quarter), and we started turning the ball over because we were not attacking,and#8221; Tenorio said. and#8220;But the kids responded. They’re turning things around and playing with heart and passion. They’re really coming together and working hard, and really trying to help each other succeed by not being selfish with the ball.and#8221;

The Wolverines, who had lost six of their last seven games, improved to 5-7 overall as the Dust Devils fell to 7-6.

Morgan and O’Connell each scored 15 points to pace Truckee as Burnham contributed 11 points and Millie seven.

Taylor led all scorers with 18 points, while Firestone finished with 14 for Dayton.

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