TRUCKEE, Calif. - A defensive adjustment was just what the Wolverines needed on senior night.
North Tahoe's guards made the Truckee girls pay early with accurate shooting on the fringes of their zone defense, keeping Friday's game tight through the first 10 minutes.
Truckee coach Geoff Stephens then switched to a man-to-man defense, and his team responded with a 8-0 run and never looked back en route to a 50-27 win.
"We needed to pick it up a little bit," Stephens said. "We also match up well against them in man, so we took advantage of it."
The Wolverines took an early five-point lead but could not shake the Lakers, who used the outside shooting touch of Angela Wood and Liz Buhler to stay close. Buhler hit a 3-pointer late in the first quarter to cut Truckee's lead to 8-6, while Wood hit a 3 early in the second quarter to shave the lead to 10-9.
Truckee picked up its defensive pressure as it switched to man, which paved the way for the 8-0 run led by seniors Sydnie English, who scored six straight, and Olivia Duner. After a pair of free throws by Buhler ended the run, Truckee senior Ashley Harris hit a 3-pointer to extend the lead to 21-11.
Wood ended the half with a high-arcing 3-pointer to cut the lead to single digits, 25-16.
The hosts took over after the intermission. They scored the first eight points of the third quarter, with a rebound and putback by Jackie Bolton, transition layups by Katey Hamill and Duner, and an outside swish by Harris, to extend their lead to 33-16.
North Tahoe's Sage Chador responded with a bucket in the paint before Buhler converted a fast-break layup, but Truckee again answered with an 8-0 run to close out the quarter up 41-20.
"We played well. We just lost it in the third quarter," said North Tahoe coach Rick Buhler, whose team managed only four points in the quarter. "We have the tendency to come out flat. But overall the girls played a really good game, especially without Sara (Trimm, who is out with an injury) again. If we play like that, we'll be fine come playoff time."
After inserting his second string, Stephens put his five returning seniors back on the court in the fourth quarter - "for one more minute of fame" - before pulling them off together so they could be acknowledged by the crowd.
"Senior night is always a big night for the girls," Stephens said. "They all had fun, and they took care of business in the game. It was one of our better team efforts."
Wood scored a game-high 13 points, including three 3-pointers, while Buhler scored seven points and Chador finished with seven blocks and 14 rebounds. English led Truckee with 10 points. Harris scored nine points, hitting two 3-pointers, Bolton had six points and Hamill five.
Truckee improved to 17-8 overall and 9-1 in Mount Roes League play. North Tahoe ended the regular season 8-14 overall and 2-8 in the MRL. Both teams qualified for their respective postseason tournaments.