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Spring Creek has chance to move to No. 2 seed
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Spring Creek has chance to move to No. 2 seed

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Chelsea Ackerman

Spring Creek's Chelsea Ackerman (32) goes in for a layup against Elko on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020, at Centennial Gymnasium. Thanks to a 49-44 win and a 49-46 loss by Lowry, the Lady Spartans are currently tied for third place with the Lady Buckaroos and could potentially reach second place with a pair of wins to close the regular season and some help Elko. Spring Creek will face No. 2 Truckee at 6 p.m. Friday and North Valleys at 1 p.m. Saturday.

SPRING CREEK — Thanks to Tuesday’s series-sweeping victory over Elko, the Spring Creek girls basketball team has a chance to achieve a No. 2 seed and a first-round bye.

The Lady Spartans will need to handle their business, receive some help and become fans of the Lady Indians for a bid at the No. 2 seed.

On Tuesday, Spring Creek improved to 11-5 in the 3A North with a 49-44 victory over Elko — nearly coughing up a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter but gaining 14 points and nine in the final frame by sophomore Shyann Lamb.

The Lady Spartans’ potential rise in the league standings took a major boost as No. 3 Lowry (11-5 in league) dropped a 49-46 road game at No. 6 Fallon, the Lady Bucks falling for the second-straight time after a 58-43 beating on Feb. 8, in Spring Creek.

Spring Creek, in order for a chance to move up, must close its season with consecutive road wins — tipping off first at 6 p.m. Friday against No. 2 Truckee (18-4 overall, 13-3 in league).

On Jan. 10, the Lady Spartans dropped a 54-41 contest at home to the Lady Wolverines — Truckee doing its damage in the second half.

The Lady Wolverines led 27-24 at the break but outscored Spring Creek 16-8 in the third quarter and 11-9 in the fourth, tearing off a 27-17 streak in the second half.

Shooting was a major factor in the ballgame, Truckee connecting on 46 percent of its field goals — the Lady Spartans making just 29 percent of their shots — the Lady Wolverines hitting four 3s and Spring Creek going without a make from distance.

Due to in-house disciplinary issues, Spring Creek hit the floor shorthanded — playing with just three full-time varsity ballers.

Despite only making 57 percent of their free throws (13-for-23), the Lady Spartans actually made way better trips to the line than Truckee — the Lady Wolverines sinking just 6-of-18 shots from the stripe.

Junior Kylee Dimick scored a game-high 19 points for the Lady Spartans and pulled down a game-best 10 rebounds for a double-double, adding a team-high four steals and an assist.

She was joined in double digits by 11 points from sophomore Payge Walz, who finished with six rebounds, two assists, a pair of blocks and a takeaway.

For Truckee, junior Annika Thayer scored a team-high 12 points, tied for the team lead with seven rebounds, rejected a game-best four shots and dished an assist.

Senior Emily Monson drained two 3s and finished with 11 points, five rebounds, three steals and a pair of steals.

Junior Emma Cooley was Truckee’s third-double digit scorer with 10 points — hitting two triples — dishing two assists.

Senior Elena Friedman added seven points, and junior Lauren Tanner was all over the floor with six points, seven rebounds, a game-best seven steals and a game-high seven assists.

The Lady Wolverines’ scoring was capped by four points apiece from freshman Ashley Estabrook and sophomore Ryann Flynn.

Estabrook posted four rebounds, three steals and a block — Flynn notching three boards, an assist and a swipe.

Spring Creek senior Amanda Goicoechea — joining Dimick and Walz as the only three varsity players — finished with five points, three rebounds, a dime and a takeaway.

The Lady Spartans’ offense was rounded out by two points each from sophomore Hayden Youngblood, freshman Ella Buzzetti and sophomore Myah Baisley.

Buzzetti was a beast on the glass and closed with nine rebounds, two assists and steal; Baisley adding three boards, two takeaways and a rejection.

Without scoring, sophomore Riley Moon pulled down five rebounds and freshman Taylor Brunson chipped in two boards, an assist, a steal and a stuff.

Stat comparisons

Prepare for a good game.

Truckee leads the offensive battle at 53.8 points per game with a 37-percent shooting clip, Spring Creek averaging 49.7 points on 33-percent shooting.

The Lady Wolverines also hold slight advantages is assists, steals and swats — dishing to scores 13 times per game, making 15.1 takeaways per contest and averaging a league-best 5.1 blocks.

The Lady Spartans post 9.7 assists, 12.2 steals and 3.7 rejections per ballgame.

Spring Creek’s lone advantage comes on missed shots, averaging a league-high 37.1 rebounds — Truckee posting 33.9 boards per outing.

Team Leaders

Truckee

Scoring — Thayer with 13.6 points, Friedman (9.5), Cooley (8.7), Flynn (7.9), Tanner (6.3), Monson (5.2), Estabrook (2.8) and sophomore Jasmin Harris (2.6)

Rebounding — Thayer at a league-best 10 boards, Tanner (5.9), Monson (5.6), Harris (3.7), Estabrook (3.1), Cooley (2.9) and Flynn (2.8)

Assists — Flynn and Tanner with 2.9 dimes apiece, Monson (2.6), Cooley (1.4), Thayer (1.2) and Friedman (1.0)

Steals — Monson at 2.9 takeaways, Flynn (2.7), Tanner (2.6), Estabrook (1.7), Friedman (1.5), Thayer (1.5) and Cooley (1.3)

Blocks — Thayer with 2.8 swats, Monson (.8), Friedman (.6) and Harris (.5)

Spring Creek

Scoring — Dimick with a league-high 14.6 points, Walz (9.8), junior Chelsea Ackerman (5.6), Brunson (5.3 in four games), junior Emma Campbell (4.7), sophomore Shyann Lamb (4.2), senior Ryley Ricks (4.1), freshman Rylee Keim (3.9), Buzzetti (3.5 in four games) and senior Elizabeth Canning (2.2)

Rebounding — Dimick with 9.9 boards, Buzzetti (8.8), Walz (5.7), Lamb (3.7), Brunson (3.5), Ackerman (3.4), Keim (3.2), Moon and Youngblood (3.0 each through four games), Campbell (2.2) and Goicoechea (2.1)

Assists — Ricks with 2.7 dimes, Ackerman (1.4), Brunson, Buzzetti and Campbell (1.3) and Lamb and Canning (1.1)

Steals — Dimick with 2.4 takeaways, Buzzetti, Ackerman and Walz (1.8), Ricks (1.6), Lamb (1.3), Baisley (1.3 through four games) and Campbell 1.1)

Blocks — Brunson at 1.0 stuffs, Dimick (.9) and Walz (.8)

Game Time

The Lady Spartans (14-9 overall, 11-5 in league) and the Lady Wolverines (18-4 overall, 13-3 in league) will tip off at 6 p.m. Friday, in Truckee, California.

Weekend Wrap

Spring Creek will close out the regular season versus the Lady Panthers (7-15 overall, 5-10 in league as of Thursday) at 1 p.m. Saturday, at North Valleys High School, in Reno.

The Lady Spartans won the first meeting by 22 points with the score at 49-27 on Jan. 11, in Spring Creek.

*Editor’s Note

The way I have it figured — assuming Spring Creek, Lowry, Elko and Fallon win out — the Lady Spartans could grasp the No. 2 seed if they defeat Truckee by at least four points on Friday night.

For a No. 2 seed, Spring Creek absolutely needs Truckee to lose its last two games and Elko has to win its last two games, facing North Valleys at 6 p.m. Friday and the Lady Wolverines at 1 p.m. Saturday.

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Related to this story

Spring Creek built a lead as large as 27 points and played its bench for much of the fourth quarter in a thorough domination of the Lady Buckaroos, assuming sole possession of fourth place in the league standings with a 58-43 victory.

After the shorthanded Lady Spartans' 42-40 loss on Jan. 3, in Fallon, and 47-42 loss on Jan. 4, at Lowry, they will rematch with the Lady Greenwave at 6 p.m. Friday and tip off with the Lady Buckaroos for the second time at 1 p.m. Saturday, in Spring Creek.

No. 1 and No. 4 will face each other at 6 p.m. Friday. The Lady Spartans (11-8 overall, 7-4 in league) and the Lady Vaqueros met on Dec. 20, 2019, in Spring Creek, Fernley (16-2 overall, 12-0 in league) overcoming a four-point, fourth-quarter deficit with a 19-point explosion in the final frame for 71-60 victory.

At 6 p.m. Friday, Spring Creek will get another taste of home cooking with sights of a weekend sweep — opening with a matchup against winless Dayton (0-9 overall, 0-12 in league).

The Lady Spartans picked up a much-needed win Saturday, ending a three-game skid. Against North Valleys, the Lady Spartans grabbed an early lead and ran away from the Lady Panthers with a big third quarter en route to a 49-27 victory for Spring Creek’s first win in 2020. The Lady Indians (7-8 overall, 5-3 in league) and Lady Spartans (7-8 overall, 4-4 in league) will close out the front side of the 3A North schedule at 6 p.m. Wednesday, in Spring Creek.

Despite back-to-back losses, the Spring Creek girls basketball team can take solace from major contributions from a host of young call-ups during their two-game road trip. In two games, the Lady Spartans lost by a grand total of seven points.

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