If there was ever a must-win situation for the Lowry High School boys basketball team, it was this past Friday night at home against Spring Creek.
The Buckaroos were coming off three consecutive losses in the Northern 3A and a fourth to the Spartans would have made the road to a potential playoff berth that much tougher.
“We are right back in this thing now,” said LHS coach Chad Peters. “This was a big win for us. We have given ourselves a chance and that is all we want. We did a good job tonight and did not bury ourselves early, which was nice. We played smarter tonight than we have all year long.”
After missing the last three games due to an ankle injury, Kobe Stoker returned to the floor and the Buckaroos ended their losing streak with a 60-42 win over the Spartans.
Oscar Juanes opened the contest with a 3-point field goal for Lowry and the teams traded buckets until Spring Creek led 8-6. That was the last time the Spartans led, as the Buckaroos finished the first quarter with 12 straight points and never looked back.
Evan Jeppsen started the run and Ren Mattson added pair of short jump shots as well for the Buckaroos. Lowry grabbed an 18-8 advantage at the first quarter buzzer when Dorsey Naveran put back a missed shot by Domonick Solis.
Naveran scored nine of the fist 10 Lowry points in the second quarter, helping the Buckaroos build a 28-12 lead. He eventually finished with 11 of Lowry’s 15 points in the second quarter.
“The difference tonight was the way Dorsey came out and played with confidence,” Peters said. “He played huge for us. Having Kobe back opened the floor up for him, instead of being doubled the entire game.”
Spring Creek was able to cut the deficit to nine points at halftime (33-24) but that was as close as the Spartans got.
Naveran continued to be on fire in the third quarter with nine more points, helping the Buckaroos build the lead back to 16 points at 44-28.
Juanes capped off the third quarter for Lowry with a 3-point shot, giving the Buckaroos a 15-point advantage at 48-33.
Lowry led by as many as 23 points in the fourth quarter, after a bucket by Jeppsen. Jeppsen had five points in the final quarter. In addition, Juanes knocked down his third 3-pointer of the night.
“It was an all-round good win for us,” Peters said. “Our offense looked better and we held Spring Creek to 42 points. Our defense has been solid and that has allowed us to focus on offense, which we need to improve. All 12 guys gave us good minutes tonight. We got some big shots and rebounds from a lot of guys. Our guards are showing a lot more confidence on the floor.”
Naveran finished with a game-high 20 points and Brendan Domire and Juanes each had nine points apiece. Stoker and Jeppsen each had seven points, Mattson five, Scottie Smith two and Logan Peters one.
Lowry is currently in a three-way tie for fifth place in the Northern 3A at 3-5. Dayton and Spring Creek are also 3-5. However, Dayton holds the tiebreaker over Lowry with its win over the Buckaroos and Lowry has the tiebreaker over Spring Creek. The top six teams in the league advance to the regional tournament in Elko next month.
Elko leads the league at 8-0 and Churchill County and Fernley are tied for second at 6-2. South Tahoe is fourth at 5-3.
Lowry is back on the road for two crucial league games, beginning Friday at 7:30 p.m. in Dayton. The Buckaroos close out the road trip on Saturday at South Tahoe at 2:30 p.m.
“It’s a big weekend for us,” Peters said. “All we are worried about right now is Dayton. We need to go up there and get a win. If we can do that then we will look to get a win at Tahoe.”