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TTHS girls eyeing state after surviving zone play last weekend

JAMES BALL

Moapa Valley just keeps coming back to haunt the Tahoe-Truckee High School girls’ basketball team.

After a 54-45 loss to the Pirates in round one of state championships in 1997, the girls once again are pitted against the Las Vegas-area team in the same position this week.

There is another similarity in 1998. For the third year in a row, the girls enter state seeded at No. 3 in division one.

Truckee comes into the championships (Wednesday, Feb. 25, at Lawlor Events Center in Reno- 4:55 p.m.) after a 50-37 loss to Fernley in zone playoffs Friday night and a 65-53 win over Battle Mountain Saturday.

Before the zone games in Fernley ever began, the girls faced difficulties.

The bus carrying them to Eastern Nevada broke down outside Lovelock, forcing the team to catch rides with parents who happened to be passing by on the freeway.

Arriving just three minutes before game time, the girls avoided a forfeit, but lost to Fernley.

Fernley

Truckee was down quickly against Fernley, but managed to tie the game at 30-30 in the third quarter.

Head coach Mike Merriman said the girls made most of their free throws, but got into too much foul trouble, a problem from which they never recovered.

Senior Jackie Robinson fouled out in the third and the girls only scored seven points in the fourth.

“That’s what got us,” said Merriman.

Sandy Theil led the scoring for Truckee with 10 points. Ali Back scored nine and Krissy Silva and Robinson had five and six, respectively.

With all of Friday’s troubles, Merriman knew the girls would have to rise to the occasion Saturday.

“That set the stage,” said Merriman. “We had to win Saturday.”

Battle Mountain

In Saturday’s game, the Truckee girls led most of the way, sealing the win with a 27-point onslaught in the fourth quarter.

Though Truckee was down by five at one point, within two minutes the press started kicking in and the girls were quickly back up by 10.

Lindsey Back led the Wolverines with 12, while Silva added 10.

“I felt all along we should beat them,” said Merriman. “As far as our talent is concerned, that’s where we should be: beating Battle Mountain by 12.”

The Moapa situation

Merriman stayed in Fernley Sunday to watch two game films of No. 1 seeded Moapa Valley.

“Moapa has a very good player, Jordan Adams, who’s 6’2″,” said Merriman.

He noticed the Pirates typically use zone defense, a fact Truckee likes because the Wolverines have a lot of outside shooters.

“If we can free up Sandy (Theil) on the outside, that’ll help us a lot,” said Merriman. “From what I saw, they tend to drop their zone down quite a bit.”

At practice this week, the girls will concentrate on man-to-man offense and press break.

“The better teams are playing man-to-man a lot more than zone. Our man-to-man has been a little suspect all year.”

Should the 10-8 season and 3-5 league Wolverines get past the 7-1 league Moapa Valley, they will go on to play the winner of the Fernley/Yerington game.

Sierra Sun E-mail: sun@tahoe.com

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