Danny Hopper scored 19 points, including four clutch free throws in the fourth quarter, to help the Dayton High boys basketball team hang on for a 54-53 victory at home against Tahoe-Truckee on Monday night.
By winning, the Dust Devils improved their Northern 3A record to 8-3 (15-8 overall) and maintained their one-game lead in the race for first-place in a division where the top six teams are separated by less than two games.
Dayton hosts second-place Yerington Wednesday night in a 7:30 p.m. showdown between Lyon County rivals.
"That should be a fun game," Dayton coach Rob Streeter said. "Our kids are excited and looking forward to it and I'm sure Yerington is, too. It's a great setting for an inter-county rivalry."
The Dust Devils took a six-point lead into the fourth quarter, only to see the Wolverines rally to go up by as many as three points.
Hopper shot 4-for-4 from the free throw line and senior Trent Wood scored all four of his points in the fourth quarter to help Dayton come back. Dayton shot 22-for-31 from the line as a team.
Kenny Goss came off the bench to score eight points, including a 4-for-4 effort at the free throw line, and Travis Wood contributed eight.
The Wolverines (4-7, 6-12) were led by 6-foot-4 senior Jamie Mahler with a game-high 22 points, 19 of which came in the second half.
"He did a good job tonight," Streeter said of Mahler. "He's going to West Point to play football, so we know he's a good athlete."
TRUCKEE 46, DAYTON 42
A fourth-quarter comeback fell short as Dayton lost to Tahoe-Truckee in a battle for third-place in the Northern 3A girls race.
Truckee is now third in the division with its 8-3 record (13-5 overall) and Dayton fourth at 7-4 (12-9).
Down 39-29 at the end of three quarters, the Dust Devils rallied back and had two chances to get even closer than four points at the end. They came up with two steals, but missed one layup and then missed a pair of free throws, according to coach Shari Andreasen.
"We had a chance, we just weren't able to capitalize," the coach said.
Truckee led 11-6 after one quarter and 25-18 at halftime. The Dust Devils were plagued by 21 turnovers in the second period, Andreasen pointed out.
"We're still working on putting four quarters together," she said. "We're getting closer with each game, and when we get there, it's going to be awesome."
Amanda Sbragia led all scorers with 20 points for Dayton, while Lauren Clark added 12 and Melony Cox eight. Cox had two steals, a layup and two free throws to help ignite the team's fourth quarter comeback.
The Wolverines were led by Kelly Stephens with 16 points.