Wolverines catch fire late to beat Incline
The Wolverines heated up at just the right time Wednesday night, turning three and a half quarters of underachieving play into a thrilling 69-62 double overtime victory against visiting Incline.
“To make a long story short, we didn’t match [Incline’s] intensity level early,” Truckee head coach Keith Crawford said. “But [the players] showed they can make plays at the end of a game, so I’m as proud as can be.”
As if to build suspense in a gym scant with bodies, Truckee waited until midway through the fourth quarter before making a run. By that time, the Highlanders’ lead had swollen to a game-high 10 points.
With the score 42-32, senior guard Brandon Peterson drained an open three-pointer to shrink the deficit to single digits. The shot sparked a burst of scoring from the Wolverines as they proceeded to outscore their opponent 13-2 over the next three minutes and took a 45-44 lead with 2:30 left in the game. Junior guard Cole Froelich, who started for an injured Chris Peeden, contributed to the run with two key steals, each resulting in fast-break points.
The Highlanders regained the lead, 46-45, almost immediately on an easy bucket in the paint.
Truckee’s leading scorer, senior guard Jason Chapman, then drilled a clutch three-pointer the next time down the floor with a minute remaining to put the Wolverines back on top, 48-46. The small crowd went wild.
With smothering defense from its guards, Truckee forced a back-court violation ” a turnover ” with 30 seconds left on the clock. The game seemingly in the bag, Wolverines players dribbled and passed the ball around on the perimeter in attempt to eat up the final seconds.
Time ticked away, down to 20 seconds, 15 … 10 … 5. Then, with a mere 3 seconds remaining, Peterson turned the ball over at the half court line. He raced down the floor in pursuit of his mistake and, as the game clock expired, fouled the streaking Incline player, Oytun Yagci, on his layup attempt.
Yagci sunk both free throws to send the game into overtime, tied at 48.
The teams traded buckets in the first overtime period before Incline took a 55-52 lead with less than a minute to play. After a number of missed three-point field goal attempts and crucial offensive rebounds, senior guard John Hooper got an open look at a three-pointer. The ball sliced through the net, tying the score at 55 with 33 seconds remaining.
Neither team scored again, and the period ended.
Peterson, facing a player several inches taller than him, tipped the opening jump ball to a teammate to start the second overtime.
Junior post player Cory Hoehn made good on two free throws for the period’s initial score. Hoehn then followed the next time down the floor with a strong spin move in the paint, splitting two taller defenders and scoring on the layup to give Truckee a 59-55 lead with 2:15 remaining.
After a series of fouls against both teams in the final 2 minutes, and a number of missed free throws on both sides, Truckee led 65-61. The Wolverines added four points on free throws by Peterson and Hooper to put the game away ” finally.
Although admitting his team did not play to its potential, Chapman said he was impressed with the effort, and outcome.
“We didn’t give up the whole game,” he said. “We stepped up when we needed to.”
Truckee game state:
Jason Chapman ” 30 points, 10 rebounds
Brandon Peterson ” 16 points, 8 rebounds
Cory Hoehn ” 10 points, 9 rebounds