A fast start and a solid first half were enough for Sierra Lutheran to beat Coleville in Wednesday’s first round of the 1A West boys basketball tournament.
The Falcons, though, will likely be using their two extra days of practice to work on the second half.
In a fast-paced, physical game that alternated between brilliant and sloppy, Sierra Lutheran parlayed a 17-4 start in the first quarter into an eventual 54-41 win. The Falcons (15-10) advance to the semifinals of the six-team event, where they’ll face top-seeded Sage Ridge (14-12) on Friday at Sierra Lutheran.
Coleville’s season ended at 5-11.
Sierra Lutheran led 23-10 after one quarter, thanks in large part to three 3-pointers from junior guard Marcus Jones. The visiting Wolves, though, settled down and chipped away, winning the middle two quarters to cut the lead to 46-37.
The fourth quarter is likely best forgotten by both teams. Coleville’s press gave the Falcons fits, but the Wolves had troubles of their own at the offensive end. The end result was an 8-4 advantage for Sierra Lutheran, along with both teams’ discipline breaking down almost completely at times.
“We were the more confident team (to begin),” Sierra Lutheran head coach Eric Schinzing said. “The first half was us being us. The second half was us playing the other team’s game — getting out of control, being frantic. It became emotional and we got caught up in that.”
Jones finished with four 3-pointers and hit 10 of his 11 free throws to finish with a game-high 30 points. Sophomore forward John Salonites added 15 points.
The Falcons sealed the win by making five free throws in the final 62 seconds.
“I’m super-happy with our free-throw shooting,” Schinzing said. “I’m actually happy with how we played, just not with some of our actions.”
Aiden Anderson’s 14 points led the Wolves, who also got three 3-pointers from Moises Barajas.
In the other boys 1A West first-round game Wednesday, Pyramid Lake cruised past Smith Valley, 71-50.
1A West girls
The Sierra Lutheran girls team opened the 1A West tournament with a 40-38 road win on Tuesday at Smith Valley.
The fifth-seeded Falcons (11-8) advanced to the semifinals, where they will meet top seed Pyramid Lake (17-3) on Friday at Sierra Lutheran.
In Tuesday’s other first-round game, No. 3 Sage Ridge had no trouble with Virginia City, winning, 35-14.
Boys 1A West
Pyramid Lake vs. Virginia City, 4:40 p.m.
Sierra Lutheran vs. Sage Ridge, 8 p.m.
Championship, 3 p.m.
Girls 1A West
Sierra Lutheran vs. Pyramid Lake, 3 p.m.
Coleville vs. Sage Ridge, 6:20 p.m.
Championship, 1 p.m.
— All games at Sierra Lutheran
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