Truckee girls gearing for playoffs | SierraSun.com

Truckee girls gearing for playoffs

Sylas Wright
Sierra Sun
Emma Garrard/Sierra SunTruckee High senior Nikki Panziera drives to the basket against Dayton on Wednesday.
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The Wolverines were all business Wednesday, burying the visiting Dayton Dust Devils early with all-out playoff-style effort on both ends of the floor.

“That was an incredible game,” said Angelo Tenorio, Truckee’s head coach. “The girls played with some fire.”

It showed, as Truckee ran away with a 57-29 rout to improve to 11-4 in Northern 3A league play and 17-6 overall. That was after a garbage-time fourth quarter during which Dayton outscored Truckee 15-12.

At the end of three quarters, the Wolverines led by 31 points, 45-14, by holding the Dust Devils to four points in the opening quarter, six in the second and four in the third.

“I’m really pleased with the way we played,” said senior point guard Kelly Stephens, who led the Wolverines in scoring with 12 points. “Everybody came out with a lot of intensity.”

Senior guard Alexis Fallow also had a hot shooting hand, chipping in 11 points, while junior post player Breanne Busby posted 10. Nikki Panziera and Melanie Lashbrook each had five points. And everyone contributed on defense.

“We knew we have to make a statement; we wanted to play tough and continue building on the end of the season,” said Tenorio, whose team has won five straight since back-to-back home losses against first-place Spring Creek and second-place Lowry on Jan. 19 and 20.

“It was fun to watch. The girls haven’t played that well in a while.”

The win came on seniors’ night, marking the final home game of the season when parents and fans bid farewell to the graduating upper classmen. Stephens was among the seniors recognized between the girls and boys games.

“It’s sad, but I’m ready to move on,” Stephens said of her last hurrah on her home court. “Good memories.”

The contest may have been a preview to the opening round of the Northern 3A playoffs. Maybe.

As of Friday ” not counting Friday night’s regular-season finale at the Yerington Lions, which starts at 6 p.m. ” the Wolverines own the third seed and Yerington (9-5) the fourth. Fernley has the fifth seed and Dayton the sixth, while Spring Creek and Lowry have secured opening-round byes with the top two seeds.

Yerington has two games remaining, both at home, against Truckee and North Tahoe. If the Lions were to win both, they would take over the No. 3 seed while bumping Truckee to No. 4, even though the Wolverines won the first match-up, Tenorio said.

Suffice to say, Friday’s Truckee-Yerington rematch is big in regards to the playoff picture.

“I think we’re confident, but we have to work real hard to beat Spring Creek and Lowry,” Stephens said, banking on advancing past the first round.