WINNEMUCCA – The Lowry Buckaroos took off with a big run to close the first period Friday night at home against Spring Creek and never looked back, forcing a tie in the Division 3A North standings with a 60-42 victory over the Spartans.
The Buckaroos took a 3-0 lead less than 15 seconds into the contest with a triple by junior Oscar Juanes.
The Spartans’ first bucket came on an assist from senior Ryan Miner to senior Daniel Eary in the middle.
Miner was then fouled and buried both shots from the stripe.
The Buckaroos tied the game with a free throw by senior Lorenzo Mattson, taking the lead on a deuce by junior Brendan Domire.
Spring Creek went up 8-6 after Eary’s second field goal of the game and a bucket on the break by senior Dakota Larson.
However, Lowry finished the quarter on a 12-0 run.
In the stretch, Lowry junior Evan Jeppsen made a deuce, Mattson hit a big three and junior Dorsey Naveran made a put-back at the buzzer.
The Buckaroos held the Spartans scoreless for the final four minutes of the period, opening an 18-8 lead.
Spring Creek senior Levi Yaunick tipped in a follow to start the second quarter, but Naveran notched consecutive field goals for the Buckaroos.
Yaunick put in his second deuce of the quarter for the Spartans, but Naveran dominated the middle for the Bucks – scoring his third field goal of the frame and opening a double-up lead of 24-12.
Following a steal, Naveran had a breakaway layup attempt and was fouled – sinking one of two from the stripe.
Lowry junior Logan Peters was fouled and made free throw, Naveran making an up-fake finish for his ninth point of the quarter and 11th in the first half.
Yaunick stopped a 6-0 run with a jumper for his third field goal, Spring Creek senior Thomas Ledford scoring on a back-cut finish.
The Bucks went to the single bonus with 2:45 remaining in the half, Domire sinking two from the line.
Spring Creek senior Caden Jangard cut the lead to 12 with a two, but Domire was fouled in the act of shooting and dropped the second freebie.
Eary made a strong play in the post, finishing and drawing the foul – completing the three-point play from the stripe with 36 seconds remaining in the half.
Sophomore Kobe Stoker gave the Bucks a 33-21 lead with a deuce, but the Spartans closed the half with a three by Yaunick.
After falling behind by as many as 16 points, Spring Creek cut the deficit to nine and trailed 33-24 at the break.
After fighting to close the gap, the game got away from the Spartans in the third quarter – as did Naveran.
He tallied nine points in the period, hurting Spring Creek in the middle and from outside.
Scoring was difficult to come by for the Spartans, tallying two point early but undergoing a major dry spell in the middle of the frame.
A three-point play by Miner and a jumper from Yaunick cut the Lowry lead to 44-31, Larson trimming the lead to 12 with a finish behind the defense – but Lowry struck with a three by Juanes to close the period.
Entering the fourth quarter, the Spartans trailed 48-33.
In the final frame, Jeppsen scored five points for the Bucks and Lowry outscored the Spartans 12-9 in the final eight minutes – beating Spring Creek to the punch with solid passing.
Lowry extended to a 60-42 victory, improving to 3-5 in the Division 3A North and dropping the Spartans to 3-5 in league play – the Buckaroos now holding the head-to-head tiebreaker.
Naveran scored 18 of his game-high 20 points after the first quarter, Domire giving Lowry nine points and Jeppsen finishing with seven.
Yaunick led Spring Creek with 11 points, joined in double figures by Eary with 10 points.
Miner closed with seven points and Larson finished with six.
SPRING CREEK 8 16 9 9 42 Total LOWRY 18 15 15 12 60 Total The Spartans will return home for a two-game stretch to start the second half of the league season, hosting Fallon at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Fernley at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.
The Greenwave and Vaqueros each beat Spring Creek in the first meetings to open the 3A North season.