TRUCKEE, California —Despite some fireworks late and 16-second half points by sophomore Garrison Bylund — including 12 in the fourth quarter — the Spring Creek boys basketball team could not climb all the way back from a slow start and a double-digit halftime deficit.
On Friday, the Spartans lost to Truckee for the second time — the Wolverines sweeping the season series with a 49-44 victory.
Offense was scarce in the early going for both teams.
The first point of the game came on a free throw by Truckee senior Isaac Cruz with 6:30 on the clock, Spring Creek taking a 2-0 lead on a pair of freebies by junior Grant Brorby.
The Wolverines went to the front with a lefty layup by sophomore Sam Purgason, but the Spartans took a 4-3 lead on a finish by senior Reed Westwood — assisted by Brorby — but Westwood came down and rolled his ankle on the play.
Spring Creek took a 5-3 lead on a free throw from senior Kyle Owsley, but a three by Cruz gave the Wolverines the high side at 6-5 — Purgason making 1-of-2 at the line.
The last points of the frame tied the game, 7-7, senior Devin Holmes tallying a deuce for the Spartans.
Truckee did damage in the second quarter, tearing off a 17-7 run.
Cruz drained a two and sophomore Max Carter added a pair of free throws.
Owsley buried a triple for Spring Creek, but the Wolverines answered with consecutive threes by senior Luis Gaiten for a 17-10 advantage.
Junior Jayce Esplin made 1-for-2 at the stripe for the Spartans, but Truckee sophomore Ethan Flynn responded with a bucket.
A clean trip to the line by Bylund brought the Spartans to within six at 19-13, but Flynn cashed a triple on the other end.
Spring Creek junior Sam Tomera dropped a free throw, but Cruz hit two freebies for the Wolverines.
At the break, Truckee led by 10 at 24-14.
Bylund opened the third with a strong take to the rack, but Truckee went up 11 on a three by Purgason.
A free throw by junior Trevor Stockham pushed the lead to 12, another freebie by Gaiten making the score 29-16.
Owsley cut the deficit back to 11 with his second field goal on a midrange runner, and two free throws from Brorby trimmed the margin back to single digits at 29-20.
Brorby was aggressive and penetrated the lane — dropping a shot against a foul and the free throw — pulling the Spartans to within six at 29-23.
He continued his hot streak with a steal and a layup — making the score 29-25 — and all but two points of the deficit erased with a splitting of the defense and a finish from Bylund.
Entering the fourth quarter, Spring Creek made up eight points with a 13-5 run in the third.
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The Spartans went to the high side with Owsley’s second three of the ballgame — opening a 30-29 lead — Carter tying the contest with a free throw.
Brorby reached double figures with a drive down the lane — dropping his 10th and 11th points — regaining a 32-30 advantage.
Carter hit a three and pushed Truckee to a 33-32 lead, and the advantage went to two with a free throw by Stockham.
Bylund scored off the bounce and gridlocked the score at 34-all, and he drained a pair of free throws for a 36-34 lead — reaching double figures on the second shot.
He trailed a transition play and scored from an offensive rebound — Flynn knifing Truckee’s deficit to one with his second three — and Bylund scored through contact on a no-call and opened a 40-37 lead.
The give-and-take began to take full swing, Cruz scoring against a foul and tying the contest at 40-all with the free throw.
Carter hit a pair of free throws for a 42-20 lead, but Bylund split a pair of defenders and dropped his fourth field goal of the period.
Cruz lost control of the basketball but regathered the rock and put the Wolverines on top 44-42, but Bylund was not to be denied — bullying a defender for his fifth deuce of the frame — his 12th points of the fourth tying the score at 44-all.
In return, Cruz quickly pushed the ball down the floor and canned a shot for a 46-44 lead with 21.8 seconds remaining.
A freebie by Carter opened a three-point cushion, and a pair of late freebies by Cruz iced the contest for a 49-44 Truckee victory.
In defeat, Bylund scored a game-high 18 points — dropping 16 in the second half and 12 in the fourth quarter.
Cruz paced the Wolverines with 17 points, scoring nine in the final frame.
Brorby scored nine of his 11 points for the Spartans after the break, and Owsley neared double digits with nine points — hitting two 3s.
Carter finished with nine points for Truckee, Flynn added two 3s and eight points, Gaiten scored six of his seven points on two 3s and Purgason posted six points before fouling out — the offense capped by two free throws from Stockham.
Spring Creek’s scoring was rounded off by two points apiece for Westwood and Holmes and a free throw each by Esplin and Tomera.
SPRING CREEK — 7 — 7 — 13 — 17 — 44 Total
TRUCKEE — 7 — 17 — 5 — 20 — 49 Total
The Spartans (5-20 overall, 4-13 in league) will finish their season at 2:30 p.m. Saturday against the Panthers (3-21 overall, 2-15 in league) at North Valleys High School, in Reno.
In the first meeting, the Spartans won by a final score of 65-41 on Jan. 11, in Spring Creek.