Truckee girls bring new look into upcoming basketball season |

Truckee girls bring new look into upcoming basketball season

Truckee players go all out during practice, diving for a loose ball on Wednesday, Nov. 29.
Justin Scacco / Sierra Sun |

The Truckee girls’ basketball team will come into the 2017-18 season with several new faces on the roster, which should provide fans and opponents a fresh look on a Wolverines program that hasn’t finished with a winning record since 2013.

Truckee graduated six players from last year’s team that went 7-17 overall and 4-12 in league, but returns senior leading scorer Isabella Abarno, senior Sara Sawyer, who was third in scoring last year, along with several other players, and four standout freshmen.

“We have four new freshmen on varsity that are going to be beneficial to the team,” Abarno said. “This is pretty much a whole new team. We had a lot of seniors graduate, so we’ve got a lot of young kids.”

Freshmen Emma Cooley, Lauren Tanner, and Natalie Richards are expected to add another element to the Truckee offense with their ability to knock down outside shots.

“One of our weakest points last year was shooting outside the 3-point line, and now we have three freshmen … and their shooting percentage is super high,” Abarno said.

Defensively, the team will have more speed this year, which should allow for more opportunities to put pressure on opposing offenses.

“Since we have faster players this year, I think we’ll be able to press more,” Abarno said. “We’ve been working a lot on pressuring the ball and trapping.”

Truckee’s other freshman, Annika Thayer, will pair with 5-foot, 11-inch senior Emma Costa to give the team good size down low. At 6 feet, Thayer is listed as Truckee’s tallest player.

The Wolverines also return seniors Maria Lupita Nicolas, Stephanie Randall, junior Tommie Jepsen, and sophomore Emily Monson. Also new to the team this year is junior Tatum Hogarth.

With several new players on varsity, Head Coach David Shalvis said the team will look to push the pace more this year, and play a more free flowing style of basketball.

“I’m trying not to call out certain plays,” Shalvis said. “They’re trying to learn how to just play the game. They’re all formations, but you play basketball from those different formations. That’s what I’m trying to get them to do … really stressing to learn to play the game — the game inside the game.”

Last season, Shalvis said the Truckee offense struggled to find scoring options with players hesitant to take shots. The result was an average of 28.8 points per game.

That shouldn’t be an issue this year with a handful of players all looking to fill up the stat sheet and an expectation of doubling last year’s scoring average.

“I’m thinking that we should be able to get to 60 every game with what we have,” Shalvis said. “Now, I have a legit seven that want to score, now I’ve got two sitting on the bench that want to score, now you’ve got something different happening.”

At this point in the season, Abarno said, Truckee is better than in any of her other three years on varsity.

“We have done two sets of scrimmages already, and in those two sets I thought we looked better than we’ve ever looked at that point in prior years, so I’m excited,” she said. “Everyone works really well together, and I’m really excited for next week.”

Going into the season, the defending Class 3A state champions, Churchill County, are heavy favorites. The Greenwave graduated one senior from last year’s team that went 26-3 with their only losses coming against Class 4A Reno High, and two California schools. Churchill County returns all of their top contributors from a year ago.

The Truckee girls open the season at home on Dec. 5, with a league game against Sparks at 6 p.m. The Wolverines swept the season matchup with Sparks a year ago.

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