All those extra hours and early-morning practices are finally paying off for Palmer Chaplin.
The Warriors' freshman point guard played beyond his years Tuesday in a 42-41 overtime win against Truckee. Chaplin tore up the court with 25 points and a game-winning shot in overtime in front of a home crowd.
"This was the type of game we hoped for when we gave him the ball as the point guard back in November," Whittell coach Phil Bryant said. "We knew he had it in him to score and he finally produced the type of game he is capable of."
It was a back-and-fourth game all night, with Chaplin leading the Warriors' charge.
The Warriors took a 23-19 halftime lead. They extended it by three more in the third, but hit a wall in the fourth. Truckee tied the game at 37-37 to force overtime.
"We had several opportunities to win it in the last few minutes of the fourth but turned it over a couple of times and missed some free throws," Bryant said.
The Wolverines struck first in overtime with a 2, but Chaplin answered back with a 3-pointer. The Warriors then got a stop and ran some clock, but missed the go ahead shot.
Truckee took advantage, dropping another 2 to go up 41-40 with time running out.
Whittell had enough time for a final drive, and Chaplin delivered. He hit a game-winning floater in the lane in the last 5 seconds of overtime.
Chaplin's performance was all the more key, with Whittell's usual leading scorers having off nights.
Austin Neil was in foul trouble early and only played about two minutes of the first half. He had a solid second half in rebounds; especially late in the game, but just couldn't get going offensively.
Garrett Bronken had a strong floor game, and Mark Waite, Rodney Aguirre and Bryce Bronken were all tough on defense.
"I was really proud of the effort after the tough loss we had at South Tahoe. Truckee is physical, but not anything like South Tahoe," Bryant said. "We need to be a little more prepared for that type of game since we have South Tahoe again and will face tough play in zone."
Zone begins Feb. 14 at Elko High School. Before zone, the Warriors will travel to Sparks(13-8, 8-2) for what is sure to be a physical rematch Friday. Whittell is now 12-8 overall and 2-5 in Mount Rose League Play. Truckee is 8-11 overall and 3-7 in Mount Rose League play.
"The sportsmanship was a great thing to see last night," Bryant said. "Even with a tough loss, the Truckee players were great sports in the line after the game and as they were leaving. It was nice to see that on the court all night long."