Wolverines lose two, take on Dayton Saturday
“The Miners are probably the best team in the state this year,” Wolverine basketball Coach Mike Gray said after a difficult loss on Friday, Jan. 12. While Truckee pulled out a strong second half with 30 points, they were hardly a match for the dominating Miners who crushed the inexperienced Wolverine bench 90-44.
“We came out flat, we had nothing to lose and everything to gain but the game just did not happen,” said Gray. With a 4A caliber team and deep bench, the Miners retained a massive lead throughout the game even as they substituted in their second, third and fourth lines.
The Wolverines continued to struggle with rebounding opportunities and offensive cohesion throughout the game, and finished the day frustrated and clawing for a reason to return to the court.
Saturday, Jan. 13 was a day of homecoming for the Wolverines after a long and disappointing series of away games. Rival North Tahoe arrived ready to play as the Wolverine gym filled with supporters from both teams.
Truckee came out slow and hesitant, allowing the Lakers to jump to an early 15-10 lead and spent the rest of the game trying to catch up.
“North Tahoe did the things it takes to win – we didn’t – it is that simple,” said Coach Gray, after the Wolverines missed several opportunities to pull into the lead. The inexperience of the Truckee team was evident as mistakes in court position during the free throw cost Truckee much-needed points.
Gray’s team failed to rebound and lost several chances to even the score, playing what Gray called a “really ugly game overall.”
Strong performances by Jared Gifford with 23 points and Dave Larson with 10 were overshadowed by an onslaught of fouls called by the officials – Truckee alone received 27 for the day.
Despite careless play, the Wolverines stayed with North Tahoe throughout the first half of play, and were down by only one point at the half, 27-26.
In the third quarter, the Lakers pulled ahead by five points and solidified the win for their team. The Wolverines continued to struggle with man to man coverage, allowing Laker Matt Ackton nine rebounds for the day.
Heading into the fourth quarter, the Wolverines were down 42-37 and fought hard to cover the Lakers’ leading scorer, Stephen Derby. Both teams scored 19 points in a spirited fourth quarter, yet it was not enough for the Wolverines to upset the neighboring Lakers.
Truckee will return to the court this Saturday, Jan. 20 as they travel to Dayton to take on the Dust Devils.
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As seniors from North Tahoe collected diplomas this week, a group of Lakers continued another local tradition — capturing first place at the boys’ regional golf championship.