One could look at the final score of the Lowry High School’s boys basketball team season opener and see the Buckaroos lost by double figures to Reno this past Saturday afternoon in Winnemucca.
However, Lowry head coach Chad Peters was the first to point out the positives instead of the negatives in the 63-44 loss to the Northern 4A school.
“I thought we did a very good job against what will be one of the best teams in the Northern 4A,” Peters said. “I thought Dorsey (Naveran) and Kobe (Stoker) played well and so did Dom (Solis). I thought our second-year varsity guys gave us good minutes. We just have to play harder. I don’t care how long you are out on the floor, I need the guys to play as hard as they can.”
The teams traded baskets in the early going, with Lowry taking an 8-7 lead off a short jump shot by Stoker. Naveran helped the Buckaroos stay in the game as well, scoring eight of Lowry’s 10 points in the first quarter.
The Huskies used a 14-1 run in the final minutes of the first quarter to open up a double-digit lead over the Buckaroos. Reno scored the last eight points of the quarter to lead 21-10.
Lowry battled back to cut the deficit to 21-15 within the first two minutes of the second quarter behind three points from Stoker and a basket by Naveran. Reno was held scoreless for the first two minutes of the second quarter but quickly pushed the advantage back to 31-16 midway through the first half. The Huskies led by as many as 16 points at 36-20 when Oscar Juanes knocked down a 3-point shot with five seconds left in the first half.
“I thought Oscar played very, very, very well for his first varsity game at home against a team like Reno,” Peters said, "What I like is he played defense really well and it fed into his offense.”
Behind five points from Stoker and a basket by Scottie Smith, Lowry trimmed the Reno lead to 10 points at 40-30 with 3:28 left in the third quarter. However, the Huskies used another big run to pull away and scored the final 13 points of the third quarter to lead 53-30.
“They made a run at the end of the first and a run at the end of the third,” added the coach. “We did not take care of the ball at all and had like seven or eight turnovers. That cost us 20 points right there. You take that away and we did a good job. The guys coming off the bench have to be ready to go.”
Reno maintained its double-digit lead throughout the fourth quarter, with Lowry closing the gap to 57-41 after a 3-pointer by Kyle Sappington. That was as close as the Buckaroos got the rest of the day.
“The biggest thing is Reno is always in the finals of the 4A tournament and they are a big and athletic team,” Peters said, “I thought we came out and competed. We learned about some of our weakness and that is normal for the first game of the year.”
Stoker led Lowry with 13 points and Naveran joined him in double figures with 12. Juanes added nine points for the Buckaroos. Smith netted four points, Sappington three, Evan Jeppsen two and Ren Mattson one.
Lowry will see another member of the Northern 4A on Thursday with a road trip to Carson for a 6 p.m. tip off. The Buckaroos will be in Truckee this weekend for a tournament and will play Dayton, Douglas and Truckee.
“For as good as we played with just 10 practices, I will take it,” Peters said. “We will be OK. There were a lot more positives than negatives today.”