Truckee boys’ basketball preview | Football players bring athleticism to the court |

Truckee boys’ basketball preview | Football players bring athleticism to the court

Sylas Wright
Sierra Sun
Sylas Wright / Sierra SunTony Rodriguez is one of three returning seniors for the Wolverines. Truckee has 10 seniors in all, but many of them did not play basketball last year.

TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; With eight of 12 players still fresh off a season of crunching hits on the gridiron, Truckee’s basketball team has yet to find its shooting touch.

Not to worry, said first-year head coach Angelo Tenorio, who’s impressed already with the sheer athleticism and intelligence of this group.

and#8220;Right now they have a football touch, so we’re working on that,and#8221; said Tenorio, who led the Truckee girls’ basketball program the past seven years. and#8220;It’s going to take a little bit of time to get the feel for the basketball. The first couple games this year we were using the backboard to make free throws, so we’re working on that touch.

and#8220;It will come around, though. It just takes some time.and#8221;

When it does, things could get exciting in Wolverine country.

Truckee is off to a 3-1 start despite having only three returning seniors, All-League post players Ben Bolton and James DePew and guard Tony Rodriguez. The Wolverines boast 10 seniors total, although many didn’t play basketball last year, Tenorio said and#8212; guys like Colin Christian, Morgan Nevin, Mitch Nelson and Dillon Sheedy, all of whom are standout football players along with Bolton, DePew and Rodriguez. Junior Trent McMullen also comes from the football team.

With such a heavy football background, the Wolverines can’t help but apply a similar brand of play on the basketball court, their coach said.

and#8220;They’re very aggressive,and#8221; Tenorio said. and#8220;They take the ball aggressively to the hole, which can be good and bad. Defensively they try to use their bodies a little too much instead of moving their feet. They tend to hold people, so we need to learn that and figure it out. They have to re-learn the finesse of basketball.and#8221;

So far they’re doing just fine making the adjustment, said Tenorio, who was pleased with his team’s improvement in the season-opening Dayton Sutro Classic tournament last week, when they defeated Silver Stage, Bishop and Fernley and took Dayton to overtime.

and#8220;The team is doing really well. They’re coming together and figuring some things out,and#8221; Tenorio said. and#8220;They’re a real good group of kids and they’re very smart, so they pick up on plays fast.and#8221;

Truckee has proved tough to score on in the early going, something Tenorio attributes to the Wolverines’ overall quickness and athleticism.

and#8220;The team defense, the way they rotate and work together, is going to be very strong for us, and that’s going to create a lot of offense for us,and#8221; the coach said. and#8220;We’re also very quick and fast, which helps us when we press.and#8221;

On the flip side, Tenorio said, the Wolverines need to learn to take care of the ball on the offensive end.

and#8220;Sometimes they get going a little too fast because of their speed. They need to slow it down and make sure we’re not turning the ball over or rushing shots,and#8221; he said.

Aside from the aforementioned players, the Truckee roster includes Bryan Reed, a standout soccer player who hasn’t played basketball since his freshman year, as well as Clayton O’Connell, Sam Allen and Frankie Teran. Bolton leads the way in the height department, at 6 foot 4, while DePew, Sheedy and McMullen are all listed at 6-3.

Tenorio said he has used a different starting five in each of the Wolverines’ four games as he tries to learn his team.

and#8220;I can play any of the guys at any time right now. … I’m pretty lucky to have as much talent as I do right now.and#8221;

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