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Truckee boys’, girls’ basketball teams advance to Reno

JAMES BALL, Sierra Sun

Last weekend, the Tahoe-Truckee High School boys’ and girls’ basketball squads advanced past zones and into the state tournament, which is set for this weekend at Reno High School and Lawlor Events Center in Reno.

To most spectators, the advancement of the No.2-ranked boys was expected; they are now No. 1 in the division and are prepping to take on No. 3-ranked Virgin Valley in today’s first round.

It is the girls’ squad, which fought late-season adversity to come out No. 3 in the division and move on to the big dance, that has surprised some spectators.

Of course, there are hurdles to clear when you are the third-ranked team, namely that you must topple the top-ranked team in the first round or you are eliminated.

For the TTHS girls, this means shutting down Hawthorne tonight at 6:10 at Reno High.

And Truckee coach Mike Merriman said he knows it will be a tough battle.

“If we beat them, we make history,” Merriman said.

And he’s not exaggerating.

Three-time defending state champs Hawthorne have not lost to another 3A team in three years.

“It will be an interesting experience,” said Merriman, who is not about to write off his team just yet.

He said he was working to create the mood that Truckee has nothing to lose and that anything could happen come game day.

Truckee finds itself in the state playoffs after losing 55-52 to Fernley, then coming back to beat North Tahoe in the consolation round 44-37.

Against Fernley, Lindsey Back scored 13; she had six against North Tahoe.

Shannon Holland scored 12 against Fernley and seven against the Lakers; Kim Hoopingarner had nine in the first game, five in the next.

Corrie Crom led Truckee against North Tahoe with 15; Grace Kennelly had six.

As for the boys, the defending-champion Wolverines are not taking anything for granted.

“No way,” said coach Dennis LeBlanc when he asked if he was treating the first-round game against No. 3-ranked Virgin Valley lightly. “Look at Truckee last year. We came in 4-6 in division and No. 2 seed against North Tahoe, who was No. 3. Being No. 1 doesn’t guarantee you anything.”

The first-place berth comes after defeating both North Tahoe and ROP last weekend at zone playoffs.

Truckee first defeated the Lakers 67-52, a game in which Mark Logan led with 22 points, followed closely by Cody Hass’ 20.

LeBlanc said North Tahoe was hurting due to the loss of several starters for discipline problems.

Against ROP, Logan and Haas came out with 20 and 10 points, respectively.

It was a scary fourth quarter for Truckee, which led by 18 at the end of the third. ROP burst out in the final period, outscoring Truckee 25-11, not quite enough to shut down the Wolverines.

“We maintained and stayed poised, but the ball just wasn’t going into the hoop,” LeBlanc said.

Looking to today’s 4:30 p.m. game at Reno High, LeBlanc said last year is a factor, but not as big as most might think.

“It’s a factor because Mark, Cody and Taylor (Greene) will be there. They were there last year and know how to prepare,” he said. “I’m not surprised we’ve made it this far.

“This is a very talented group of young men. My prediction is we will go down and play very good Truckee basketball.”


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