The Sierra Sun
Aggressive play combined with home court advantage helped the Truckee High varsity girls nudge Dayton from the playoffs Wednesday night.
It was no easy task, though.
Truckee led 12-9 at the end of the first quarter, then allowed the lead to slip away in the second. At halftime Dayton led by one point, 23-22. Dayton stormed out early in the third quarter, as well, creating turnovers and scoring six unanswered points before Truckee responded with its own surge.
“I told them to feed off the energy of the crowd,” Truckee coach Angelo Tenorio said. “I knew if we could catch up and get back in the game, we could then build off that momentum.”
The girls listened to their coach. They fed, built, and then tied the game at 29 before the end of the third quarter.
Point guard Kelly Stephens scored from inside early in the fourth quarter to give Truckee the lead, 31-29. It would be the last lead change, as the Wolverines, tasting victory, never looked back.
“[Coach Tenorio] told us to pick up our intensity,” Stephens said. “We came together as a team more, and just played a better game.”
Truckee’s added intensity, and pestering full-court pressure, caused a number of Dayton turnovers that led to easy fast break points. Everybody on the court began contributing, and the crowd enjoyed every minute of it.
Katie Malone, whose catch-and-release shot is almost automatic from the corner of the key, scored 16 points and caused havoc all night under the basket. Felicia Tenorio scored nine points, Jesse Lamm eight, Stephens seven, Erica Rice three and Corina Mincey two.
Several times late in the game Lamm stole passes and drove coast-to-coast for easy layups, helping to seal the victory. Stephens seemed to be everywhere. When not forcing turnovers, she was slashing to the bucket ” Allan Iverson style ” drawing hard fouls from Dayton players twice her size.
When all was said and done, the scoreboard read 47-36. Tenorio, after giving credit to Dayton for playing an excellent game, praised his team’s effort.
“I just told them to play smart and play hard,” Tenorio said. “Their energy, and the way they worked together, it was incredible.”
For Dayton, Amanda Sbragia had a game high 17 points. Lauren Clark, Rebecca Clark and Rebecca Mazello each scored five points, and Sabrina Cantrell added four.
The Wolverines take on the No. 1 seed, Spring Creek, Friday in Dayton.
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