SPRING CREEK, Nev. - The Spring Creek boys basketball team hasn't been in too many close games this season, either wins or losses.
On Saturday, they got a lesson in how heartbreaking a close loss can be.
Spring Creek surrendered an 8-point lead in the second half and lost 57-55 to Truckee.
With the game tied at 55, Truckee's Adam Morgan made a wild, running jumper across the lane with 18 seconds left for the go-ahead bucket.
Spring Creek had two chances to tie or take the lead, but a final lob attempt to Star 'Ita on an out-of-bounds play underneath the basket with 2.4 seconds left was knocked away by Truckee.
"We needed to get a bucket, so I put it in the hoop," Morgan said. "I had to make up for the free throw I missed."
With less than a minute in the game, Morgan missed the first free throw of a 1-and-1. Spring Creek got the rebound, but also missed the front end of a 1-and-1 on its possession.
That set up Morgan's final bucket.
He finished with a game-high 21 points, 17 of which came in the second half. David Burnham also finished in double figures for Truckee with 12 points.
The final result ruined 'Ita's best game of the year for Spring Creek and a chance for the Spartans to even their league record at 2-2.
"Those close ones like that are tough to swallow. You're up a little and don't finish at the end," Spring Creek coach Scott Carsrud said. "It would've been nice to be 2-2 instead of 1-3 at this point. We really needed that one."
Behind 13 points in the first half by 'Ita, Spring Creek took the lead midway through the first quarter and didn't surrender it again until the fourth.
Ahead by one, Spring Creek opened the second half with an 8-0 run thanks to two steals and four layups.
However, 'Ita only scored two points in the second half thanks to foul trouble and Morgan took over to rally the Wolverines. 'Ita finished with 15 points for the game and six rebounds.
Nick Oberriter gave Truckee its first lead since the first quarter on a short jumper with 4:40 left in the fourth quarter, 52-53.
Spring Creek tied the game at 53, but Morgan scored another layup to take a 2-point lead. Dustin Shafer then tied the game at 55 with 2 minutes left on a layup plus a foul. He ended up missing the free throw.
"Our league is super competitive with real close games. ... To squeak one out on the right side is good. Our goal is to make the playoffs and you need to win close games," Truckee coach Patrick Irvin said. "We knew coming in rebounding was key and sure enough the last play of the game came down to a tipped ball."
Before Truckee knocked away the lob attempt to 'Ita to end the game, the Spartans had a chance with 12 seconds left, but Jaysen Woodland missed a 3-pointer from the top of the key.
Truckee wasn't able to recover the rebound and that set up the final out-of-bounds play.
Spring Creek scored six points off of offensive rebounds in the first half, but none in the second.
The Spartans did their best work on the defensive side of the ball. They registered 17 steals in the game, six from 'Ita and many of them ended in fast break layups. Woodland also had four steals and 13 points.
Before Saturday's game, the Spartans only played in one game that was decided by less than 10 points. That was a single-point victory at a tournament in Idaho.
Saturday's one didn't end as well.
"We forced some shots when we should have ran the offense through ... and we have to hit the front end of 1-and-1s down the stretch to win tight games," Carsrud said.
The Spartans were 6-of-18 from the free throw line.
Along with 'Ita, Caden Gunnell and Woodland also sat at times in the second half with foul trouble.
The Wolverines, who lost 70-29 at Elko on Friday, are 2-4 in Division I-A league play and 6-7 overall.
UP NEXT: Truckee is scheduled to host Incline on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
- Sierra Sun Sports Editor Sylas Wright contributed to this report.