Truckee High baseball coach, 46, dies over weekend | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Truckee High baseball coach, 46, dies over weekend

TRUCKEE, Calif. — The Truckee High baseball program lost its charismatic leader Saturday night. Mike Ellis, who took over as head coach of the Wolverines in 2005 and had led the team to six consecutive state championship appearances, died of an apparent heart attack, school officials confirmed. He was 46. "It's hard to accept — a young guy like that with so much to give," said Tom Glover, Ellis' youth baseball coach in Forestville, Calif., north of the Bay Area. "I can still see his face the last time we met, laughing and stuff. We lost a very close friend." Dozens of Truckee players, parents and alumni gathered Sunday afternoon at the school's baseball field, where Truckee Athletic Director Jaime Legare informed them of the news. Legare said the meeting began solemnly but gradually turned to an atmosphere of fond reminiscing about the longtime Truckee coach, known to most as "Ellie." "He was a great guy," said an emotional Legare, who added that an autopsy is being performed to determine the exact cause of death; Ellis did take medication for an enlarged heart. "You could tell that he didn't just coach his players, he touched their lives. It was so interesting to have so many alumni just pouring out of the woodwork and calling and texting and trying to figure out what happened. They're just heartbroken. He was kind of infectious. All the kids just loved him." Truckee assistant coach Michael Taylor, a former Truckee player who graduated in 2009, will take over as interim head coach the remainder of the season. "Personally, he's the reason I got into baseball as much as I did," Taylor said of Ellis, whom he described as a baseball-loving kid trapped in an adult's body. "After my freshman year I almost quit, and he took me under his wing and kind of coached me up a little extra. He kind of molded me into the ballplayer and person I am today. He was incredibly influential." Taylor was among the large group gathered at the Truckee field Sunday. "It was heartbreaking," he said. "The kids were in tears. It was tough for me to watch that." Aside from showing frustration with his team losing, Ellis seemed to be in generally good spirits Saturday afternoon when the Wolverines hosted a league doubleheader against South Tahoe. In fact, it was that positive aspect of his personality that his friends and rivals remember most. "He was a great guy, first of all — not just a great coach. Everybody knew that," said longtime Spring Creek baseball coach Scott Gilligan. "He had an enthusiasm for life and the game that was second to none. We coached against each other for a long time. We always wanted to beat each other, of course. But after the game, it was always a hug and we were friends. "It's tough. I honestly am struggling with this. In all my years I've never heard anybody say one bad thing about Ellie — and that speaks volumes about who he was. He was just so upbeat, and it was contagious to his kids, who always played well. It's a sad time." South Tahoe coach Starbuck Teevan said he, too, was saddened by the news of Ellis' death. "I've only known Ellie for four or five years, but as a baseball guy, they really don't get any better," Teevan said. "I think we're a lot alike. There's definitely a brotherhood of coaches, and I'm very sad to hear of his passing. He was definitely a good friend of mine in the time that I've known him. He's definitely going to be missed by everybody in the league." Former North Tahoe coach Bob Habeger echoed the other coaches' sentiment. He described Ellis not only as a knowledgeable and dedicated coach, but also a good human being who cared about his players. "My initial thoughts were, 'Man, who's going to take over and fill his shoes with all that he's done for the Truckee program and the summer program.' It's definitely a huge loss," said Habeger, who knew Ellis for about 12 years, dating back to his coaching days at North Tahoe, when Ellis was still an assistant. "His kids always played hard for him, and they had a good time. Not only was he a good coach, and knew baseball, he was just a good guy." Aside from his infectious personality, Glover remembers Ellis as a talented player as a youth. "Mikey had great power," he said. "He could hit the ball a long way." After starring at El Molino High School, Ellis went on to play at Santa Rose Junior College and later became a professional scout for the Cincinnati Reds. He also constructed his own wood bats, which he called Sweet Spot Baseball Bats. The Glovers own one of the bats. "He was so thoughtful. He'd come by the house after all these years and bring us stuff and sit down and visit for a couple hours. The thing was, he just had a spirit around baseball that, when he was around it, he was in his world. He was at home and at peace," Glover said. "He loved the game, and he loved people and seeing them succeed. There was nothing selfish about Mike. He'd help in any way he could. He never asked; he always gave. And in turn, he received a lot." Ellis may never have been more happy on a baseball field than he was on May 19, 2012 — the day his Wolverines earned Truckee's first baseball state title since 1994. That team finished 29-6 overall and carried a 15-game winning streak into the state final against Elko, which Truckee defeated in nail-biting fashion at Nevada's Peccole Park. Even when things were not going Truckee's way, Ellis had a way of easing the mood of his players, said Truckee assistant coach Scott Decker, a 2006 grad who also played for Ellis. "No matter how down he got abut anything, he always left with a smile. Even after a bad loss he'd crack a joke and get everyone smiling again," Decker said. "If anything he almost cared too much. He just had the biggest heart. … At every single banquet he'd cry. He just loved everyone. He'd get all choked up. I used to give him crap about it." No one ever put more time and effort into working on the Truckee baseball field than Ellis, who could be spotted nearly any time of the year grooming the field. He added grass to the previously all-dirt infield, overhauled the dugouts and spruced up the outfield fencing, among other improvements. He retired two of his players' jerseys in the outfield, JR Murphy and Jason Chapman. "He worked tirelessly on the field," Legare said. "I told the kids yesterday that it's a bittersweet thing to meet at the field because everywhere I look I think of conversations with him, whether it was in the dugout or by the Slurpee machine or outfield — that field is him." On Monday, Truckee players and alumni conducted a scrimmage on the school field, where they were joined by Ellis' parents and sister. "Michael's whole life was baseball," said his mother, Sue. "He lived and breathed baseball. It kept him out of trouble." Ellis had a daughter named Lexi who celebrated her first birthday on March 28. Counseling will be available for players and any other students at the school's Wellness Center this week, Legare said. A memorial service will be held at the Assumption Catholic Church — 10930 Alder Drive, Truckee, CA 96161 — on Monday, April 14, at 2 p.m. A tribute at FiftyFifty Brewing Co. in Truckee will follow the service.

Vikings fall short in Aces showdown

RENO, Nev. — There were no fence-clearing bombs, or game-ending rallies. Nothing fancy really, just the subtle beauty of crisp plays and a few well-placed singles into a field that has nurtured some of baseball's greats. Truckee made the most of its four hits Tuesday, inching along to a 3-1 win over South Tahoe at Aces Ballpark — home of the Triple-A Reno Aces. Aside for the satisfaction of winning the final Mount Rose League game to end the regular season, the outcome also impacted playoff position. The No. 5 seeded Wolverines will now face No. 4 Fernley instead of No. 2 Lowry in Round 1 of playoffs Friday. The No. 6 seeded Vikgins to take out No. 3 Fallon today. Clean fielding and strikes usually account for wins in high school baseball, but on Tuesday it wasn't enough. Truckee needed something more. Both teams kept the errors down, South Tahoe with one and Truckee with three. Both starters, Erik Holmer and Dominic Diana, threw plenty of strikes. The difference was Truckee's Andy McKechnie found the gaps with runners on. "They got the key hits when they needed it and we didn't," said South Tahoe coach Starbuck Teevan. "We had some opportunities to score, but just didn't get that clutch hit." Those clutch hits started in the fourth of a scoreless game with Aaron Pado's leadoff line drive to left, breaking Diana's no-hitter. Thor Retzlaff sacrificed Pado into scoring position, and McKechnie dropped his first RBI single in right. The quick center fielder then went looking for some insurance. McKechnie worked his way to third on wild throws, and the heads-up baserunning paid off when Jackson Rohlf delivered a deep sac fly to give Truckee the 2-0 edge. South Tahoe, however, wasn't about to go quietly in the big venue. The Vikings answered in the sixth, finally putting the bat on Holmer's pitches and capitalizing on three Truckee errors. Catcher Christian Coats slashed a hard grounder to short and stole his way to third. Relieving pitcher Tyler Sharp squeezed him home with a bunt that plopped just inside the first base line. A fielding error and wild throw moved South Tahoe's tying run to third, but Truckee squelched the threat with a third out. The Wolverines then erased the damage with one more run in the bottom of the sixth. Again it was McKechnie who supplied the RBI single, this time to a gap in center, after Retzlaff's single moved the run into scoring position. "It's not how you start. It's how you finish," said Truckee coach Mike Ellis, reflecting on how far his team has come since the beginning of the season. Holmer tossed a complete game for the win, finishing win an 82 pitch-count, no walks and five strikeouts. Diana went four innings, limiting Truckee to two hits and carrying a no-hitter into the fourth. Sharp entered the game in relief in the fifth, and struck out four in two innings of work. Coats led the Vikings offense, going 2-for-3 and scoring South Tahoe's only run. UP NEXT: South Tahoe(13-13-1) will travel to Fallon (16-8) for a postseason doubleheader at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m on Friday. Jordan Mann and Tyler Sharp will start for the Vikings. If the teams split on Friday they will meet for a third game on Saturday.

Vikings, Wolverines bask in pro experience

RENO – Years from now baseball players from South Tahoe and Truckee high schools will retell the story of the day they played in a professional baseball stadium. On Monday, the Lake Tahoe schools were given a rare opportunity of holding their nonleague game at Aces Ballpark – the home of the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Though a little wide-eyed at the beginning, both teams settled down to play an entertaining extra-inning game won by the Wolverines, 11-8. “It was pretty surreal,” said Truckee coach Mike Ellis. “I’ve played in lots of parks like this, but for these guys it was awesome. We’re going to do it every year if we can. “Families, the parents, the kid – they all enjoyed it. It was a blast.” Truckee cleanup hitter Maclane Brady socked a pair of two-run triples, but it was Morgan Nevin’s triple on the first offering from Tanner Braun that triggered the winning rally in the eighth inning. Jordan Deiro belted Truckee’s fourth triple of the game – a shot off the base of the wall in left field to break a 7-7 tie. A Brian Matthew sacrifice fly made the score 9-7, and the Wolverines added two insurance runs before the rally ended. James DePew scurried across home plate on a passed ball, and Ryan Zusy scored on a Matt Theis base hit. South Tahoe, which forced the extra inning with a three-run rally in the bottom of the seventh, didn’t go quietly in the eighth. Walks to Andrew Contaxis and Ricky Braun prompted Ellis to bring in reliever Ben Bolton. Bolton got two quick outs, coaxing a 4-6-3 double-play ground ball from Tanner Braun. Contaxis scored on the play to make the score 11-8. But the Vikings didn’t let Bolton record the final out as Connor Casey singled to right field, Max DeLallo walked and Jamie Yelles hit a 1-2 pitch into center field to load the bases. That turn of events provoked Ellis to bring on Zusy in relief, and the senior ended the 3-hour, 15-minute battle by forcing Rigel Garman to ground out to second. “Both teams showed a lot of heart,” Ellis said. “It was good fun, saved a lot of guys for league, but that just showed that our backup guys could come in and get it done, too.” With Truckee leading 7-4 in the seventh, DeLallo ripped a triple that bounced to the 424-mark in right-center field, scoring Tanner Braun and Casey. “At the beginning of the season my approach was more to pull everything,” DeLallo said. “I worked with my batting coach a lot to readjust and take the ball to right field.” Yelles followed with a sacrifice fly to center to plate DeLallo with the tying run. South Tahoe left the winning run 90 feet away when Garman walked, stole second base on a 2-0 pitch and took third with two outs on a wild pitch. But Theis, the Wolverines’ fourth reliever to that point, squeezed the final out on a high popup by freshman Tyler Sharp. “When we tied it at 7, I almost wanted to run to their coach and say, ‘Nobody should lose this game. You want to push?’ I thought we could win it,” said South Tahoe coach Don Amaral. “We couldn’t get the key hit, but I think I got 21 or 22 kids into the game.” The first high school game ever played in the year-old stadium in downtown Reno came about after both schools agreed to sell a combined 1,000 tickets to future Aces’ games. “It’s something that I got to do when I was in high school. It’s something that probably 99.9 percent of these guys are never gonna reach this level, but it’s a very opportunity, and I hope that it sticks with them fro a long time,” said Aces’ account executive Dan Izzo. “Hopefully it’s something we can continue to do with the schools in the area.” DeLallo started on the mound for the Vikings – four days after throwing 133 pitches in a 4-2 win against Sparks on Thursday. He pitched two scoreless innings and fanned four before shifting to first base. “I was really looking forward to this,” DeLallo said. “It’s not every day you get to come pitch in a great stadium like this. The mounds are nice, the grass is nice. It was just a really good experience.” Notes: With the marathon game approaching darkness, Izzo said that the game likely would have been called after nine innings since the schools weren’t permitted to play under the stadium lights … since the schools will play in the same Mount Rose League next year, Ellis said that at least one of the games between the schools will return to Aces Ballpark … both cleanup hitters, DeLallo and Brady, each finished with two hits and four RBI. For the Wolverines, Deiro, Matthew and Tanner Churich each collected two hits, while for the Vikings, Casey joined DeLallo with two hits … the teams combined for 11 stolen bases.

South Tahoe splits league doubleheader at home

The table has been set for one final regular-season showdown. In a Mount Rose League doubleheader filled with emotion Saturday, the South Tahoe and Truckee baseball teams split the pair, with the Vikings blowing open the first game in the middle innings en route a 10-0 win and the Wolverines outlasting the hosts, 11-8, in the nightcap. The Division I-A rivals will square off one more time at Aces Ballpark on April 30 to end the regular season, with possible homefield advantage in the postseason on the line. Playoff seeding is based on records within the Division I-A; South Tahoe is 5-6, with only the one game against the Wolverines, and Truckee is 4-4 in the DI-A, with four games remaining. Game 1 on Saturday began as a pitchers' duel between Truckee's Erik Holmer and South Tahoe's Jordan Mann, both of whom held the opposition scoreless through four innings. Holmer ran into trouble in the fifth, however. The Vikings scored five runs, highlighted by a two-run home run by Cody Higgins off of the storage container beyond right field. The Vikings were not done. They scored five more runs in the sixth to end the game on the 10-run mercy rule. Truckee managed just five hits off of Mann, who struck out five and walked three in six innings. Chris Towle went 2-for-3, while Holmer and Teagan Pado each had one hit. Following the home run by Higgins, Holmer fired a pitch behind the back of Tyler Sharp. He then hit Mann with a pitch. Sergio Burgueno went 2-for-4 with two RBI and two runs. Dominic Diana added a two-run triple and came across the plate twice. Liam Loftis contributed a double and two runs. Mann and RJ Rivera went 2-for-3 with Mann knocking in two RBI and Rivera adding two runs. The Wolverines committed three errors in the game. In Game 2, South Tahoe jumped out to an early 3-1 lead and held it through four innings, before Truckee exploded for a seven-run fifth. Truckee added a run in the sixth and another in the seventh, while South Tahoe scored four times in the bottom of the seventh to make it close. Riley Guiragossian started and earned the win for the Wolverines. The junior went 4 1/3 innings, giving up four runs (three earned) on five hits and a walk. South Tahoe finished with 10 hits, led by Sharp and Mann, who both contributed two hits and an RBI apiece with Sharp smacking a double. Burgueno blasted an RBI triple, and Higgins contributed a clutch two RBI single. Christian Coats put down an RBI single and Loftis also contributed a hit. Each team committed three errors, with Truckee's coming early in the game and South Tahoe's coming late. Truckee coach Mike Ellis found himself riled up on a couple of occasions, once in the fourth inning when Aaron Pado was picked off of first and the coach thought he was safe, and then again in the fifth when Holmer hit a Texas-leaguer to right field with the bases loaded but was called out on the infield fly rule. The Vikings are now 11-11-1 overall, and the Wolverines are 11-11-1. UP NEXT: South Tahoe is scheduled to host a non-conference game against Portola on Wednesday at 4 p.m. The Vikings will then travel to North Tahoe for a doubleheader on Saturday at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Thriller at Aces Ballpark

RENO – One could hardly blame the fans who bolted early to escape the chilly winds gusting through Aces Ballpark on Wednesday evening. Until the final inning, that is. What those fans missed was a gritty Truckee comeback punctuated by a two-run, game-winning triple off the bat of Brooks Hudson in the bottom of the seventh inning. The clutch hit, preceded by four similarly crucial at-bats to begin the four-run rally, lifted the Wolverines to an 11-10 win over South Tahoe. The nonleague game marked the second Truckee-South Tahoe matchup at Aces Ballpark in as many years, as the two faced off last season in the first-ever high school game played in the Triple-A stadium. “It’s a lot of fun,” said South Tahoe head coach Rich Rubel. “To come down off the mountain and play in a professional ballpark like this, it’s a dream come true for these guys.” Hudson, still buzzing from his game-winning hit, agreed. “This is awesome,” he said. “Last year I was a sophomore, so I just watched it from the sideline. So I wanted to play in this game real bad.” Hudson made the most of his playing time. With the Wolverines trailing 10-7 after the Vikings pulled ahead with a six-run sixth inning, Trevor Aldridge golfed a low curveball by South Tahoe reliever Tyler Sharp up the middle to lead off the bottom of the seventh. Tanner Churich followed with an RBI triple smashed over the head of Rylan Tepper in center field, and Churich’s younger brother, JV call-up Griffin Churich, laid down a squeeze bunt that scored his brother, and narrowed the gap to 10-9. James DePew then reached on an error before Ty Englert came through with a base hit up the middle, setting up Hudson with two runners on and one out. Hudson smoked a fastball delivery to deep center, again clearing the head of Tepper as it one-hopped the outfield wall. DePew and Englert raced around the bases to score the tying and winning runs as Truckee players stormed the field in celebration. “It was a fastball, high and right over the middle of the plate,” Hudson explained. “I was looking for that the whole time. It felt amazing. It was right where I wanted to hit it.” Both teams treated the game as somewhat of an exhibition, trying to get all their players on the field for a chance to experience the Triple-A ballpark. Truckee threw a different pitcher every inning, and two during the Vikings’ six-run sixth, while South Tahoe threw four different pitchers. “Everybody got to play, and that was the main thing,” said Truckee head coach Mike Ellis. “And they stepped up and rose to the occasion.” Ellis was particularly proud of the contributions from second baseman Griffin Churich, who, besides his run-scoring bunt, dove and smothered a ground ball before popping to his feet and throwing out the runner at first to end the top of the seventh inning. Rubel also was impressed with the play of his team, which was highlighted by a sprawled out diving catch in center by Tepper that robbed DePew of an extra-base hit. “It was a fantastic game,” Rubel said. “We played great baseball and they played fantastic baseball. Everyone played well. It was just a great game. That’s all there is to it.” DePew pitched a scoreless top of the first inning as the Wolverines tagged South Tahoe starter Dillon Mckeen for three runs in the bottom half to take an early lead. The Vikings responded, scoring three runs off Steven Baker in the second to tie the game. Truckee took a 6-4 lead in the fifth on an RBI single by Tanner Churich before South Tahoe broke it open with a big sixth inning. Facing Stein Retzlaff on the mound for the Wolverines, Cody Higgins took a pitch off the shoulder to start the inning. Tepper and Dominic Diana followed with walks to load the bases, and Rigel Garmin drove in two runs with a base hit. After a pop fly for the first out of the inning, Andrew Contaxis kept the rally alive with a two-run triple into the gap. Bobby Oakes then knocked in Contaxis with a double down the third baseline, pushing the Vikings’ lead to 9-6 and prompting a pitching change. Truckee junior Ryan Smith allowed an additional run on a wild pitch before ending the threat. But the damage was done as South Tahoe took what appeared to be a comfortable 10-6 lead. The Wolverines scored one run in the sixth to set the drama for their seventh-inning comeback. “That was beautiful,” Ellis said of the come-from-behind win. “We play them (the Vikings) three times next week, so they’re going to be a little angry and bitter.” Tanner Churich finished 3 for 5 with two triples and two RBI in the game, while Troy Allen and Hudson also contributed two RBI for the Wolverines. Jackson Rohlf was 2 for 3 with a double and RBI and Andy McKechnie and Smith were both 1 for 3 with an RBI. Englert went 2 for 2, and DePew, Baker, Aldridge, Luke Theis each had one hit. For the Vikings, Garmin led the offense with two RBI on a 3-for-5 performance. Higgins and Contaxis each had two RBI with their extra-base hits, while Derek Clelan went 2 for 4 with a double and RBI. Oakes and Tepper added a hit apiece for South Tahoe, which had 10 hits to Truckee’s 16. Truckee improved to 7-8 overall. South Tahoe fell to 4-7. The teams meet again in a three-game Mount Rose League series on April 13 and 16.

Golden State fouls up at the end

DENVER – J.R. Smith hit two free throws with 0.4 seconds remaining, lifting the Denver Nuggets to a 123-122 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night. Smith, one of four Nuggets to finish with at least 20 points, was fouled by Monta Ellis while throwing up a desperation 3-pointer after taking an inbounds pass with just 3 seconds remaining. Ellis, who had 32 points for the Warriors, had given Golden State a 122-121 lead when he made a 10-foot turnaround jumper with 15.2 seconds to play. Kenyon Martin had 27 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Nuggets, who were without injured stars Chauncey Billups, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Andersen. They also lost Ty Lawson to an ankle injury during the game. Corey Maggette scored a season-high 35 points to lead Golden State, which lost its eighth straight on the road. Stephen Curry added 26 points for the Warriors. Down by two entering the final period, the Warriors forged in front with an 11-0 run that put them up 113-109 with 4:10 remaining. Smith connected on an 18-foot jumper to give Denver a 109-102 lead but Maggette hit a pair of free throws, Ellis drove in for successive layups and Curry hit a 3-pointer. Trying to break up the Warriors’ string, the Nuggets’ Lawson drove to the net but couldn’t get a shot away in a traffic and dumped the ball off behind his back, falling hard on his left ankle. He limped off the court to the locker room and the team said he sprained his left ankle and would not return. The Warriors picked up the loose ball and started a fastbreak that Maggette finished with a layup that gave the Warriors a 113-109 advantage. With 1:51 remaining, the Warriors led 120-115 but the Nuggets scored the next six points, going in front 121-120 when Martin rebounded a missed shot by Joey Graham and put it back in. Ellis countered with his jumper seconds later to give the Warriors their final lead. Graham missed a 3-pointer in the final seconds and a scramble for the ball led to a jump ball won by Aaron Afflalo, who got it to Smith. The Nuggets called a timeout with 1.4 seconds left before getting the ball in to Smith. Officials reviewed the call and determined Ellis fouled him with 0.4 seconds remaining. Smith hit the first two throws, missing his final attempt. The teams traded baskets at a breakneck pace in the third, running and shooting and pretty much dispensing with defense. But neither could make a decisive move on the scoreboard, with Denver managing to take a 98-96 lead into the final period. The Nuggets were behind much of the first half but poked in front 65-62 at the break on the strength of a 19-6 run in the closing minutes of the second quarter. Golden State had pulled away from a 46-all tie with an 8-0 burst that Morrow started with a 3-pointer. But Denver responded with a surge fueled by Lawson, who connected twice from three-point range and had a steal and fastbreak layup as the Nuggets regained a 65-59 lead with 29.1 seconds left. Morrow closed the first half by connecting on another 3-pointer for the Warriors. NOTES: Billups (groin) has missed eight of the Nuggets’ last nine games, while Anthony (knee bruise) missed a third straight and Andersen (ankle) missed his second in a row. … Maggette scored at least 20 points for the 10th time in 11 games. … The Warriors’ Ronny Turiaf limped off the court with 7:19 remaining in the third quarter after coming down awkwardly on his right ankle while going for a rebound. He returned in the fourth quarter.

Curry scores 34 as Warriors beat Raptors

TORONTO – Stephen Curry tossed aside a restrictive ankle brace, then ran right through the Toronto Raptors. Curry scored a season-high 34 points, Monta Ellis added 28 points and the Golden State Warriors beat the Toronto Raptors 109-102 Monday night. Ellis, the NBA’s leading scorer, was taken for X-rays on his lower back after falling heavily under Toronto’s basket late in the fourth quarter. He remained down for several minutes before being helped up and walking slowly to the locker room. “He was ready to pop up sooner,” Warriors coach Keith Smart said. “I think it was more concern with the doctors that were there, our trainer that was there, to make sure when you have something like that happen, don’t do something too soon.” Curry shot six for nine in the fourth quarter, scoring 16 points, and said his game improved after he ditched the brace on his right ankle at the end of the first. “It feels freer, I think,” Curry said. “My ankle is in good shape right now but the brace is a little too restrictive. I’m getting rid of it and going with the heavy tape job.” Curry was originally hurt in Golden State’s final preseason game, aggravated the injury in the season opener against the Houston Rockets, then rolled it again in an Oct. 29 win over the Los Angeles Clippers. He sat out two games. Just minutes after removing the brace, Curry went down after landing on a courtside photographer and limped to the locker room to have his ankle re-taped. “At first it was pretty scary because I knew that feeling of when I initially rolled it,” he said. “I was waiting for the pain to come.” Fortunately, the ankle was fine and Curry was back on the court to start the second half. “As long as the cameramen back up one or two feet, I’ll be all right,” he said. David Lee fouled out with 14 points and 12 rebounds and Andris Biedrins had eight points and nine rebounds for the Warriors, who won their first road game in three tries. “This is a huge confidence booster for me,” Lee said. “I think I turned the corner offensively, being a little bit more comfortable with what we are doing. If it wasn’t for foul trouble I probably would have had a much better scoring game.” Golden State has won four straight and nine of 11 against Toronto, averaging 113.1 points in those 11 contests. Toronto’s Jarrett Jack scored a season-high 24 and Linas Kleiza added a season-high 20 points but the Raptors lost their fifth in a row. “We just make the game hard on ourselves,” Kleiza said. Amir Johnson and Sonny Weems each scored 12 points and Andrea Bargnani had 11 for Toronto. Ahead by seven after one quarter, Golden State used a 16-3 run in the second to go up 55-41 at the half. The Warriors led by as many as 20 points before Toronto’s Leandro Barbosa scored on three straight possessions, cutting it to 75-66 with 2:48 left in the third. After a Golden State timeout, Ellis hit a 3-pointer, restoring the double-digit edge. The Warriors took an 84-72 edge into the fourth. Toronto fought back with a 12-0 run in the fourth, cutting it to 90-86 on an alley-oop dunk by Johnson with 7:16 left. Wright ended Golden State’s drought with a pair of free throws and Curry followed with a 3-pointer, but a 3 by Kleiza and a powerful dunk by Weems made it 99-94 with 3:47 to play. This time, Ellis converted a three-point play and Curry drained a 3, keeping the Raptors at bay. Barbosa left in the second half with a strained left shoulder and did not return. The Raptors had outrebounded their previous five opponents but were decisively beaten on the boards in this one. Golden State finished with 42 rebounds, while Toronto had 32. NOTES: Ellis topped 25 points for the third time in seven games. … Jack’s eight assists were a season high. … Weems returned after sitting out Saturday’s loss at Portland with a sore right knee. … More than 20 members of Toronto’s Chinese media covered the game on Asian Heritage Night, timed to coincide with the visit of Golden State rookie guard Jeremy Lin.

Truckee residents arrested for allegedly nabbing $37K in ski equipment

TRUCKEE, Calif. – Truckee Police have arrested two local residents for allegedly stealing $37,000 in property from a local ski shop. Truckee residents Randy Kutson-Ellis, 33, and Cynthia Morgan, 47, face charges of criminal conspiracy and possession of stolen property for their alleged roles in the incident. According to a Truckee Police Department press release, a Truckee ski business reported the theft on Nov. 20. Some of the merchandise may have been up for sale on an Internet auction site, according to the release. With assistance from the ski business’ owner, police identified Kutson-Ellis and Morgan and searched their Tahoe Donner Home, finding the stolen ski equipment. The duo allegedly had access to the business when the theft occurred, the business owner said. They were booked into Nevada County Jail. It is unknown if they made bail.

Ellis, Morrow pace Warriors to first win

OAKLAND – Monta Ellis had 24 points and a season-high 12 assists, Anthony Morrow added 24 points, and Corey Maggette had 20 to lead Golden State to its first win of the season, 113-105 over the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night. Stephen Jackson added 20 points and rookie Stephen Curry had seven points and nine assists for the Warriors, who trailed by 13 points in the first quarter and were outrebounded 46-35. Rudy Gay had 29 points and eight rebounds for Memphis while Allen Iverson added 18 points to become the 16th player in NBA history to reach 24,000 for his career. The Grizzlies lost their third straight and were held under 115 points for the first time since their season-opener. Johnson and Crawford help Hawks beat Kings SACRAMENTO – Joe Johnson and Jamal Crawford had 26 points each to help the Atlanta Hawks beat the Sacramento Kings 113-105 on Wednesday night. Marvin Williams and Mike Bibby each had 13 points for the Hawks (4-1). Kevin Martin, who was playing with bruised right wrist, had 29 points and 11 rebounds and Jason Thompson added 22 points and 12 rebounds for the Kings (1-3). Martin had 25 points going into the fourth quarter, but the Kings, who were ahead by four, allowed the Hawks to surge back to a 93-92 lead after Bibby made a 3-pointer with less than 10 minutes to play. Johnson’s jumper with 3:20 left extended the lead to seven. Martin finally scored his first basket of the fourth on Sacramento’s next possession, but it was too late. Crawford answered with a 3-pointer that put the game away.

South Tahoe diamondmen win season opener

CARSON CITY ” Based on the number of times Truckee High got on a diamond compared to South Tahoe in the preseason, the Wolverines should have been a threat to beat the larger school on Thursday. But the Vikings didn’t permit their sparse times on the field impact them as they routed Truckee 11-4 in their baseball season opener at the Carson tournament. Junior pitcher Max DeLallo hurled four scoreless innings, allowing two hits and five baserunners at Ron McNutt Field. The right-hander fanned seven and walked two before giving way to sophomore Jamie Yelles and junior Tanner Braun. DeLallo wasn’t pleased with his control, even though he was repeatedly able to pinpoint strikes on the outside corner. “We haven’t done a lot of bullpen so far, so I’m pretty raw when I’m pitching,” DeLallo said. “Overall, I thought I had my velocity down, and I came in with a lot of good outside fastballs.” South Tahoe’s top three hitters in the lineup accounted for seven of the team’s 10 hits. Senior Kyle DiGrande stroked a pair of two-run doubles and finished with three hits to lead the Vikings. A diving catch by left fielder Myles Allen in the first inning denied DiGrande of a third extra-base hit. Seniors Derek Holmgren and Matt Marsh each delivered a pair of hits and combined for two RBI. “Overall, we’re pretty happy coming out of the gym. The top of the lineup really hit the ball well,” said South Tahoe manager Matt Tillson. “It was a very productive day.” Truckee skipper Mike Ellis wasn’t making any excuses after his club was unable to come up with the necessary plays, even though it has ventured out of the gym to find a playing field various times in the preseason. “South Tahoe played really good. We’ve been on the field at least 15 practices,” said Ellis, whose club has found field time at Moana Stadium, Governor’s Bowl and in San Jose. “They’ve already seen some fast pitching and had some at-bats. South Tahoe just had a scrimmage, and I let them on Moana a couple of week ago to practice. You have to tip your hat to the way they played.” Truckee’s Justin Vosburgh led off the game with a double on a fly ball that was lost in the sun. However, the Vikings erased him on the first of two double plays that started with a lineout to Holmgren at second. After stranding a pair of baserunners in the first inning, South Tahoe began to rattle its bats in the second. Tanner Braun pounded a 2-0 pitch from starter Scott Mathot into the left-center gap, scoring Yelles. DiGrande followed with a two-run double into the right-center alley for a 3-0 STHS lead. Holmgren added the Vikings’ third double of the inning with a laser down the left-field line, scoring DiGrande to make the score 4-0. Truckee’s Mike Taylor and Mike Fagen advanced as far as third base in the second and third innings, but DeLallo beared down each time for key strikeouts. “I was finding my focal points,” DeLallo said. “When I got down (in the count), I tried to erase it from thoughts and tried to look at the top of the mountain, so it changes my mindset.” The Vikings built a 9-0 lead by scoring five times in the fourth inning. Marsh and Yelles belted run-scoring singles, Chris Ewing hit a sacrifice fly and two more Vikings scored unearned runs. The Wolverines broke up the shutout in the fifth, scoring twice without hitting the ball out of the infield. Brian Matthews and Jared McDonnel crossed the plate, with Jordan Diero and Kevin Decker each providing an RBI. “I know it’s early, but we have to learn to hit the ball a little better,” Ellis said. “We have a good bunch of kids. They just need to go after it more and trust it.” In the sixth, DiGrande’s two-run double to right pushed the Vikings’ lead to 11-2. Truckee, however, didn’t go down quietly in the final inning. Two walks and a fielder’s choice loaded the bases with one out. Taylor was hit by a pitch to score one run and a second run came home on Ryan Zusy’s infield single. Braun got the final out on a bases-loaded lineout to Marsh. Vosburgh reached base three times and scored a run to lead the Wolverines. South Tahoe (1-0) will continue tournament play at 11:30 a.m. today against North Valleys. Notes: South Tahoe senior catcher Gary Prescott took his first batting practice on Thursday. Tillson expects his all-league catcher to return next week. Prescott has been sidelined by a damaged tendon in his nonthrowing elbow. Junior Ricky Braun filled in for Prescott on Thursday and went 1 for 2 with three runs scored.