Truckee girls advance to state; boys sent packing
Two Tahoe-Truckee High School varsity basketball teams played for their state playoff lives in the third-place games of the AAA Division I Basketball Tournament Saturday in Fernley.
Only one team survived.
The Wolverine girls’ team qualified for the state tournament by defeating Battle Mountain 56-34 to claim the No. 3 seed in Division I in the state tournament. The team faces the No. 1 seed from the south, Moapa Valley, today at 3:20 p.m. at Wooster High School in Reno in the opening round of the tournament.
The enigmatic Truckee boys’ team, however, was eliminated from playoff contention when it lost to Fernley, 64-43.
Girls qualify for state
Following a 10-point loss to No. 1-seed Fernley Friday night, the Truckee girls squared off Saturday for the right to advance to the state playoffs. Even though the team had lost to the Longhorns the week before in Battle Mountain, Truckee felt confident about its chance for a win entering the game.
“When we had played them before, no one was psyched up for the game,” said Wolverine captain Marisa Brooke. “We knew they weren’t that hard to beat.”
“We knew we had beaten Battle Mountain at home and then we blew the game at their place, so the team was fired-up for the game,” said Truckee coach Helen Godfrey.
Truckee raced out to an 11-point lead in the first half and then enjoyed its finest shooting half of the season in the second half to ice the 56-34 win. During the second half, forward Sandy Thiel put on a shooting display, hitting on three 3-pointers. She finished tied with Brooke as the Wolverines’ leading scorer with 17 points.
“I think we shot 50 percent for the game – even from beyond the three-point,” Godfrey said.
Other scorers for the Wolverines included Jackie Robinson (8), Alli Back (2), Tiffany Sahlman (7), Jessica Valle (2) and Lindsey Back (1).
Truckee opens with Moapa Valley
Unlike previous years when there was a consolation round at the state tournament and teams were guaranteed at least two games, a loss today to the Pirates would end Truckee’s season.
Godfrey said the Wolverines appear to have a good chance in today’s game against Moapa, despite the fact that the Pirates enter the game as the No. 1 seed from Division III.
“I’ve seen film of Moapa Valley and it looks like we will match up well with them,” Godfrey said. “Both teams like to press on defense and look to run the ball on offense. If we could get past them, we could have a chance to reach the final.”
Other teams in Truckee’s bracket include Division I foe Spring Creek and Dayton, a school which Truckee defeated in a scrimmage earlier this season.
Boys’ season comes to abrupt end
Following its easy road victory over Rite of Passage on Feb. 19 the Wolverine boys had a three game winning streak and looked like they were peaking for the playoffs.
Truckee couldn’t get past Spring Creek in the opening round of the tournament, however, losing to the Spartans 59-52 despite Josh Lawrence’s 27 points.
Playing host-team Fernley in a do-or-die situation for third-place Saturday, Truckee played well early on, taking a 16-13 lead after one quarter.
Fernley led by six points midway through the third quarter, but when Cody Haas cut the lead to 39-38 it appeared the Wolverines had the game’s momentum.
But a nightmarish fourth quarter in which the Wolverines scored only five points – including zero points during the final five minutes – sealed Truckee’s fate.
“The bottom line was we were too inconsistent,” said senior guard Kris Rendon. “We had the talent and the all-around athletes, but our players didn’t play up to their potential this season. We’re disappointed, but we can’t do anything about it now; it’s over. It’s time to move onto the next sport.”
Seniors Ryan DeMont and Matt May closed out their Wolverine careers by scoring 12 and 11 points respectively. Lawrence scored eight against Battle Mountain and senior center Garrett Crom scored four.
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The Barracuda Championship is set to tee off next week, bringing PGA golfers to Tahoe Mountain Club’s Old Greenwood course for the second year in a row.