Tigers contribute in All-Star games
FALLON ” Kelly Stephens of Truckee High School scored 11 of her game-high 16 points in the second half Tuesday to lead the girls’ Silver team to a 55-44 win over the Blue in the seventh annual Fallon Optimists All-Star Basketball Classic at the Elmo Dericco Gym.
The Truckee senior, who will play basketball and softball next year at College of the Siskiyous (Weed, Calif.), ignited a second-half comeback for the Silver.
“It was really fun playing again,” Stephens said.
She said competing with and against players form the Northern 4A increased the intensity of the game.
Meggan Cranmer of McQueen coached the Silver team, and she echoed Stephens sentiments.
“It was so much fun. I had a blast,” she said.
Cranmer praised Stephens and how she blended in with the other players, all from the Northern 4A.
“Kelly was an amazing asset to this team,” Cranmer added.
Blue team coach Dorsey Thom of Yerington said the girls played hard, but they ran out of energy in the second half.
“I couldn’t get Mary (Sprinkel) and Megan (Kilty) enough rest,” Thom said.
The Silver team chipped away at the lead in the third quarter and finally tied the Blue team on two free throws from Reno’s Angela Ceccarelli. The lead was short-lived when Kaela Horse of Douglas High School drilled a 3-pointer, her second of the night, to give the Blue a slim lead with less than one minute left in the quarter.
Reno’s Lauren Dwyer then took over for the Silver during the last 47 seconds. Dwyer connected on a sky hook to cut the lead to one point, 34-33, and her short set shot with 20 seconds remaining gave the Silver team its first lead since the second quarter, 35-34.
The Silver team never trailed in the final quarter. Nicole Raymond (Spanish Springs) and Alyx Sacks (McQueen) made back-to-back baskets for a five-point lead, but Fernley’s April Shaw snapped the Silver’s 6-0 run with a layup. Carson City’s Kilty then scored a basket to cut the lead to a point, 39-38.
The Silver team then pulled away from the Blue and finished the game on a 15-6 run.
Raymond added 12 points for the Silver team, and Ceccarelli added 10.
Both teams began the game missing numerous shots and turning the ball over frequently. The Silver team built a 7-2 lead before Shaw scored form underneath the basket.
The Blue team began to click midway through the second quarter when Horse hit consecutive treys to give her team its first lead, 18-16. Danica Marks of Spanish Springs tied the game, but the Blue pulled away for a four-point halftime lead.
“Horse was the spark off the bench,” Thom said.
Sprinkel led the Blue team with 12 points, while Shaw added11 and Horse tallied 10.
FALLON ” Dazzling the crowd is what an all-star basketball game should be about.
Just ask North Valley’s Archie Kovich, who was robbed after hitting an awkward half-court shot just after the third period horn sounded.
“It was definitely fun having athletes with the same talent as you,” Kovich said. “It just felt good. The crowd got into it, and it sparked our team.”
Kovich’s uncounted 3-pointer energized his teammates to a 31-22 fourth quarter run as the Blue team came back to nip the Silver, 84-81, Tuesday night in the seventh annual Fallon Optimist All-Star Basketball Classic at Churchill County High School’s Elmo Dericco Gym.
“It’s fun for the kids and hopefully fun for the fans. That’s what it’s all about,” Blue coach Rob Streeter (Douglas) said. “I love this. This is why I do what I do. It’s great for the kids to be recognized for their hard work for four years of high school.”
Streeter, who coached the all-star game for the second time, was pleased to get back onto the court, especially with a talented group of athletes.
“You let the kids be kids. It’s fun to work with a great group of kids,” he said.
Hug’s Armon Johnson led both teams with a dazzling 32 points and will play for the Nevada Wolf Pack next fall. Reed’s Alex McKenzie led the Blue with 18 points, including four 3-pointers.
“It was fun to see everybody. There was a lot of talent out here,” Johnson said. “I’m excited about UNR and talking to the coach (Mark Fox) about it.”
Johnson’s high school coach, Brian Voyles, guided the Silver team and said the game was a good opportunity for the seniors to don their uniforms one final time.
“This is a good group of kids. It was a nice, close game for an all-star game,” Voyles said. “It was nice to see all my kids one more time. All the kids looked good.”
McKenzie’s block with 57 seconds left in the game prevented the Silver from tying the game with the Blue ahead, 77-75. McKenzie, though, nailed his fourth 3-pointer with 36 seconds left to put his team up by five.
“He totally stepped up. He put a dagger in that team,” Kovich said of McKenzie. “He single-handlely did that. It takes a lot of guts to pull through.”
Larry Smith scored 13 points for the Silver, James Blackford had 11 and Dominic Anxo added nine. Smith and Blackford played for Hug, while Anxo played for Manogue.
Mike Gransberry (Douglas) finished with 12 points, Kovich added 11 and Craig Davidson (North Valleys) had nine.
“It felt good. I enjoy basketball a lot,” said Fallon’s Charlie Lockwood, who scored four points. “They (teammates) were really cool. I was really excited to play, but I wish I could have gone out better.”