Pau-Wa-Lu captures first Tah-Neva crown
In a game that was chock full of runs, everyone in the Carson Valley Middle School gym Tuesday evening knew it was probably going to come down to whoever had the ball last.
Advantage: Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School eighth-graders.
After a second half filled with a 13-0 run on one end of the floor, followed by a 13-0 run on the other side of the floor, and finally an 8-0 run back the other way, it was the Panthers’ Junior Pacheco who put the exclamation point on an epic 30-28 victory over Carson Valley in a battle between the first- and second-place teams in the Tah-Neva basketball league.
With the score tied at 28, Pacheco grabbed the rebound off a missed 3-point shot from the corner by Scott Lococo and banked home the winning putback as the buzzer sounded for the win.
Pacheco finished with eight points, including another buzzer-beater at the end of the third quarter to put Pau-Wa-Lu up 26-20.
As it was, there were plenty of buzzer beaters to go around for the Panthers as Lococo launched a shot just before the halftime buzzer from about 10 feet inside the halfcourt line.
The ball bounced high off the rim – so high that many players from both teams had already turned away and headed for the locker rooms by the time it came back down – and in through the net to put the Panthers up 15-7. Lococo finished the game with five points.
Pau-Wa-Lu, which has been the Cinderella story of the Tah-Neva league this season after going 0-6 through the regular season as seventh-graders last year, improved to 9-1 on the year and clinched the regular season league title with the win. It was the first title for the eighth-grade boys’ team in the school’s 11 years.
The Panthers built an early 7-1 lead through the first quarter, but Carson Valley came back with a 6-2 run broken up by a lay-up from the Panthers’ Ryan Moglich.
The Tigers came out of the locker room for the third quarter running a tough full-court press, which led to a 13-0 run highlighted by four points apiece by Michael Whalin and Chris Schonian. Schonian finished with nine points and Whalin had six.
The run put Carson Valley out in front 20-15 but a timeout by the Panthers gave Pau-Wa-Lu time to regather.
Coming off the timeout, Pau-Wa-Lu focused in on its press break and put together a 13-0 run of its own with two points from Moglich, five from Pacheco and a big 3-pointer from Brett Anderson to get back out in front 28-20.
Carson Valley regrouped with a timeout of its own and ran off another 8-0 run to tie the game back up with less than a minute remaining.
Whalin, Schonian, Luis Pina and CJ Marcotte each had baskets during the run.
Pau-Wa-Lu jumped out to an early 2-1 lead, but Carson Valley answered in a big way, rattling off the next 15 points on its way to a 41-16 victory Tuesday.
Kameron VanWinkle had 12 points to lead the Tigers, followed by Garrett Getty with nine points. The Tigers outscored Pau-Wa-Lu 17-1 in the third quarter but the Panthers came back to outscore Carson Valley 7-5 in the fourth.
The Panthers got a nice 3-pointer from Luke Isherwood, two free throws from Nick DePaoli and a basket from Luke Rhyner during its solid fourth quarter.
— Joey Crandall can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (775) 782-5121, ext. 212.