SPRING CREEK – The Spring Creek girls basketball team currently clutches the No. 2 seed of the Division 3A North and a first-round bye of the regional tournament by the slimmest of margins, one point.
The Lady Spartans defeated the Lady Buckaroos of Lowry on Jan. 12 in Winnemucca, winning 37-36 on a free throw by junior Alayna Grosz with less than one second remaining in the ballgame after being fouled on a turnover by the Lady Bucks underneath Spring Creek’s basket.
Spring Creek will begin its final true road trip on Friday – playing at 6 p.m. in Truckee – closing the roadie at 1 p.m. Saturday in Sparks.
Friday’s contest should definitely serve as Spring Creek’s toughest of the two games, facing a playoff team in Truckee.
The Lady Wolverines are currently No. 6 in the Division 3A North standings with a 5-7 record, holding a two-game lead over Sparks (3-9) and owning the final position to the 3A North regional tournament.
Truckee also added another player to its roster in the past three weeks, gaining the services of ultra-athletic junior soccer player Ava Seelenfreund.
Seelenfreund was named the Division 3A North MVP and a 1st-Team All-State selection at forward, scoring 50 goals and dishing 10 assists – scoring 21 more goals than second place and finishing fifth in the league in dimes – scoring an absurd 43 points more than the second-best scorer in the league.
She may not have a basketball background, but Seelenfreund is athletic.
In six games, she ranks second on Truckee’s roster in scoring and steals, dropping 9.2 points and making three thefts per contest – adding 3.3 rebounds and two assists.
“She definitely makes them better. I wouldn’t say she necessarily has basketball skills yet, but she is long (5-foot-10) and very athletic. She gets in passing lanes and rebounds,” said Spring Creek coach Holly Miller. “I don’t think we’re going to change our game plan. (Emma) Cooley is still their best player and who to stop, but we worked a lot this week on rotating over and defending the weak side with our shell defense.”
Cooley, just a freshman, leads the Lady Wolverines in scoring at 11.2 points per game (tied for second in the league) and really knocks down open jumpers – hitting 34 percent of her shots from distance and ties for the league high with 55 3s.
The Lady Spartans won the first meeting 69-46 on Jan. 5 in Spring Creek; the Lady Wolverines experience the bulk of their success early on.
The first quarter played out evenly, the Lady Spartans earning a five-point advantage in the second – the second half a domination by the Lady Spartans.
Spring Creek outscored Truckee 40-22 in the second half.
Freshman Kylee Dimick and junior Caitlyn Dimick led a trio of Lady Spartans in double digits with 12 points apiece, followed by 11 from senior Kaitlyn McLeod.
McLeod will not be with Spring Creek during the road trip, making college recruiting visits for soccer.
The flu bug also hit the Lady Spartans, Miller unaware of the status of one her junior bench players.
Spring Creek will tip off against the Lady Wolverines at 6 p.m. Friday in Truckee.
The Lady Railroaders will enter Saturday’s contest against the No. 2 team in the league with a 3-9 record, ranking seventh in the 3A North standings.
Of Sparks’ three wins, two came against winless Dayton and the other was against two-win South Tahoe.
The Lady Spartans barely had to break a sweat in a 51-18 win over Sparks on Jan. 6 in Spring Creek.
Spring Creek turned the game into a running clock in the third quarter – scoring 21 points in the period – rolling to a 33-point point victory.
Junior Shaylynn Yaunick led the way for Spring Creek with 11 points, followed by 10 points each from Grosz and Dimick.
The Lady Spartans need two victories to maintain their position as the No. 2 team and keep pace for a first-round bye in the regional tournament, looking for a road sweep at 1 p.m. Saturday in Sparks.
Spring Creek will close the regular season with a short jaunt over the summit and a home game, taking on Elko (7-5 in league) at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Centennial Gymnasium and wrapping up on senior night in a huge contest – tipping off with Lowry (9-3) at 6 p.m. Feb. 9 at Spring Creek High School.