Truckee boys’ team topples North Tahoe at tourney
Box scores don’t necessarily indicate the contributions that players make.
While the attention during the basketball preseason was focused on the ability of Mark Logan, the Tahoe-Truckee Wolverines’ all-state forward for the boys’ varsity squad, it has come to pass that it takes more than one player to make a team good.
As the season progressed, Truckee fans witnessed the rise of another Mark (Thiel) and, still, Truckee Head Coach Mike Gray isn’t happy.
Enter Peter Kennelly.
Kennelly was instrumental in the Wolverines’ two wins and his absence was a determining factor in their one loss during the Lake tournament played at Whittell, according to Gray.
“A lot of what [Kennelly] does doesn’t show up in the box,” Gray said. “It shows up on the floor. When he’s not in the game, we’re not a very good team.”
The Wolverines defeated the Incline Highlanders in the tournament’s opener, 74-58.
It appeared that Truckee would pull away easily, leading by 21 points at the end of the first half, but the Wolverines were outscored 29-8 in the third quarter and headed into the fourth quarter tied. Truckee rebounded by holding Incline to only six fourth-quarter points. Kennelly was issued a technical foul during the game and then was ejected for slapping the backboard while trying to block a shot. The ejection resulted in his automatic suspension from the second game against the Whittell Warriors.
The Warriors defeated the Wolverines 48-45. Whittell took advantage of Kennelly’s absence – keying in on the two Marks – and held Truckee to five first quarter points. The Wolverines battled back, but were unable to overcome the early deficit.
“That first quarter really knocked us out,” Gray said, “We were a joke … a flat out joke.”
Kennelly returned for the rivalry match against North Tahoe, contributing 16 points and 8 assists to a 57-32 rout of the Lakers.
“Good teams usually respond after an embarrassment,” Gray said, “and we did. Everything was clicking.”
Logan was the leading scorer for Truckee in all the games, scoring 16, 17 and 18 points, respectively. Thiel scored 14 points against Incline, 16 versus Whittell and 10 against the Lakers. Andrew Bergstrom and Kennelly both had eight points in the game against Incline.
“Everything is coming automatic now,” Gray said. “We’ve still got a lot of work to do but this team can go as far as it wants to go.”
The boys will be participating in the Mesa Verde tournament from Tuesday, Dec. 28, through Thursday, Dec. 30.
Participating in the Lake tournament at North Tahoe high school this past weekend, the Wolverines’ girls’ varsity basketball team was successful once and twice plagued by fouls and turnovers.
Truckee was defeated in the first day of tournament play by the Incline Highlanders, 47-42. The Wolverines regrouped on the second day, claiming a 45-15 win over the Whittell Warriors, making it a sweep on the season. In the tournament’s finale, the girls battled the North Tahoe Lakers into double overtime before losing, 57-55.
“We’re trying to lessen the turnovers and fouls,” Truckee Head Coach Mike Merriman said. “We’re having to substitute more than I would like and the other teams are getting too many free throws.”
In the game against the Lakers, the Wolverines had three players foul out (Heather Shove, Lauren Gordon and Teal Cutter). The Truckee squad also had several players with four fouls.
“We’re scoring lots of points,” Merriman said, “but we’re giving up lots of turnovers and committing lots of fouls. They [the Lakers] put a lot of pressure on us for the entire game, and we turned the ball over way too much.”
“We’re kind of going back to the basics these next two weeks to get our fundamentals together,” Merriman said.
Against Whittell, Truckee committed 11 fouls, but still easily surpassed the Warrior squad. The Wolverines outscored the Warriors 14-2 in the first quarter and 11-3 in the second quarter. Leading the charge for the Wolverines was Gordon, who finished the game with 12 points. Erin DeMont finished the game with 8 points. Nine players on Truckee’s roster scored in the game.
Truckee led at the end of every quarter except the fourth against Incline.
Leading 35-33 at the end of the third quarter, the Wolverines committed nine fouls and froze offensively in the fourth. The result was a 14-7 scoring run by the Highlanders.
The Highlanders were led by Erin Lavigne, who knocked down three three pointers on her way to eighteen points.
Gordon led the Wolverines with 16 points, all of which came in the first three quarters. Shove mustered seven points while Shauna Murray and and DeMont each contributed six points.
“If you make more mistakes then you score points,” Merriman said, “then you’re going to lose.”
The girls’ next game is on Tuesday, Jan. 4, at Las Plumas where the Wolverines will play against the Thunderbirds starting at 7:30 p.m. The freshman team will play at 4:30p.m. and the JV team will start at 6 p.m.
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