Wolverines beat Dayton, look ahead to Manogue match
If the Truckee Wolverines varsity basketball team was going to make a run at the NIAA 3A Northern Zone playoffs, it needed to start at last Friday night’s game against Dayton.
Whether or not it’s the start of a streak that will lead to the postseason remains to be seen, but the Wolverines, led by the frontline of David Larson J.R Murphy, took a step in that direction by beating the visiting Dust Devils 52-44.
The win improved the Wolverines record to 3-6 in league and 3-8 overall.
But tomorrow night’s game will be a much higher hurdle for the Wolverines to clear, as they travel to Reno to take on the league’s best, the Bishop Manogue Miners. The Miners are 13-8 overall, but a squeaky clean 9-0 in the league.
Before he talked about what it would take to secure one of the top four spots in the 3A league to be eligible for the playoffs, Head Coach Mike Gray savored the win over the Dust Devils.
“I was really pleased with the way we played,” he said. “We rebounded well, Dave Larson took a leadership role on offense and we got a big game from J.R. Murphy.”
Larson’s leadership role netted him a game high 23 points, while Murphy added 16. Both players were huge on the boards with 16 rebounds apiece.
Despite the dominance of the Truckee frontline, the Dust Devils outscored the Wolverines 19-12 in the third quarter to take a 38-36 lead into the fourth. Truckee had led 24-19 at the half.
But the Wolverines owned the boards, the key shots and the fourth quarter itself to win their third game of the season, and second in their last four games.
While the Wolverines lost the lead in the third period, Gray said his team didn’t lose its confidence.
“We kept our composure [after we fell behind]. I felt like we never thought we were going to lose the game. We knew we could win it,” he said.
If the Wolverines can string together several wins in a row to make a run at the postseason, they are going to have to do it on the road, where they play five of their last seven games.
Gray said road wins against Yerington (this Saturday) and Fernley (Feb. 6) and victories in their last two home games (ROP on Jan. 30 and North Tahoe on Feb. 9) would all be critical for their post-season chances.
“We still have a chance, but we need to win on the road,” Gray said.