After enjoying double-digit wins for much of the season, the Lowry High School girls basketball team saw its first major test in the Northern 3A when it traveled to Spring Creek on Wednesday, Jan. 19.
The Spartans came into the meeting with just one loss on the season and undefeated in league play and ranked No. 1 in the 3A and No. 7 in the state of Nevada my MaxPreps.
The Lady Bucks had dropped three games on the season campaign but were also undefeated in league and ranked No.2 in the 3A and No. 10 in the state.
After a slow start, Lowry bounced back in the final three quarters to knock off Spring Creek 47-35 and secure the top spot in the Northern 3A.
“It was a great environment to go play in,” said LHS coach Jesse Zamudio. “I thought we played well. We just couldn’t buy a shot at the start of the game. It was a good win on the road against a good team.”
Lowry led 6-4 midway through the first quarter, only to see Spring Creek end the period on a 7-2 run and extend its lead to 13-8 in the early portion of the second quarter.
Jovi Kuskie ended the eventual 9-2 run with a pair of free throws and Savannah Stoker added a basket and two free throws to put the Lady Bucks back in front at 14-13.
After Spring Creek tied the game at 14 with a free throw, Lowry took the lead for good a as 6-foot, 1-inch senior McKenzi Petersen put in baskets two putback shots to give Lowry a 20-16 advantage.
The lead quickly grew to double figures at 32-20 at the start of the third quarter with a combination of buckets from Stoker, Hannah Whitted and Emily Backus.
The Lady Bucks led 36-28 after three quarters of play, but the Spartans did not go quietly, cutting the deficit to 38-25 with 4:49 to play after a corner 3-pointer.
That was as close as Spring Creek got, as Backus countered with her own 3-pointer the next time down the floor and after a steal on defense, Stoker was fouled as she drove to the basket and made two free throws to push the margin back to 43-35 with 1:54 to play.
Spring Creek did not score in the final 4:49, as Lowry made free throws down the stretch to hold on for the win.
Lowry was back on its home floor on Friday night and overcame a slow start to beat Wooster 61-26 to improve to 12-3 overall, 6-0 in the Northern 3A and 4-0 in the Northern 3A East.
The Colts used an up-temp on offense to get the ball up the floor and through the Lady Bucks’ pressure defense. Wooster cut the lead to 8-7 in the first quarter after an old-fashioned 3-point play.
However, Lowry closed out the opening period on an 8-0 run.
Following two free throws by Petersen, the defense kicked it up a notch, as Kuskie and Stoker scored on easy layups and after a turnover Backus was able to find Petersen under the hoop for a bucket, as time expired to give Lowry a 16-8 lead.
Lowry founds itself in foul trouble, as Whitted and Petersen each had three fouls, leading to Mia Hernandez coming off the bench to knock down a jumper and pushing the gap to double figures for the first time.
After scoring just 28 points in the first half, the Lady Bucks broke the game open with a 29-8 run in the third quarter and never looked back.
Lowry scored the first 16 points of the third quarter to go in front 44-16. The Lady Bucks led 55-24 after three quarters of play and quickly added to buckets in the fourth quarter to create a running clock.
Petersen led all scorers with 24 points and Backus and Stoker joined her in double figures with 15 and 12 points, respectively. Alexis Olsen and Whitted had four points apiece and Kuskie two.
Lowry/Elko game postponed
Just a couple hours before tipoff on Saturday afternoon, the Lowry and Elko match-up was postponed due to Covid cases within the Elko program. The game will be rescheduled for a later date.
Lowry will attempt to play Truckee for a fourth time, as the Lady Bucks are scheduled to travel to Truckee on Thursday.
Lowry will be back home Friday to play Churchill County. It is also Winterfest week for Lowry High School.