Warriors rebound with back-to-back league wins
After losing a third of his varsity lineup, including two starters, followed by winning back-to-back league games over the weekend, Brian Mehrer’s week of basketball has gone from one emotional extreme to the other.
The Warriors brought up three sophomores from the junior varsity to play Battle Mountain on Friday and won 64-55. The Warriors won again on Saturday, defeating Silver Stage 67-21, a victory that puts them in a three-way tie for runner-up in league at 2-1 with West Wendover and Hawthorne.
Moreover, the victories come after a bruising 71-33 league-opening defeat at Incline early last week.
“The kids really readjusted to a couple of losses we had as far as player personnel goes,” said Warrior coach Mehrer. “My sophomores have stepped up to the plate. My upperclassmen are playing real well. So it looks like they’re starting to put it together.”
It didn’t hurt that senior Jake Summers was able to penetrate the Longhorns’ zone defense Friday like it wasn’t even there. Summers scored a season-high 29 points.
“I like when opponents run zone. You just swing out and pop it,” said Summers, a 5-foot-11 guard.
Summers hit five 3s and was 3 for 3 from the line.
Also in double-digits were seniors Nick Lowe and Brian Jones, each with 12 points.
Instrumental for the Warriors were sophomores Chris Shapiro and Tommy Esquivel.
“I was really proud, not only of the upperclassmen but especially the two sophomores. Chris Shapiro did tremendous on the boards for us. Tommy was the same way. He did great on the boards and was 4 of 4 from the free throw line,” Mehrer said.
The Longhorns led 14-13 after the first quarter, but the Warriors outscored them 11-9 to lead 24-23 at halftime.
Maintaining intensity on both sides of the court, the Warriors outscored the Longhorns 19-16 in the third and 21-16 in the fourth period.
“As a team, that was probably the best defensive game we’ve had,” Mehrer said, adding that the Warriors worked on defense throughout most of practice last week.
Trailing 13-12 after the first quarter, the Warriors again rebounded in the second quarter on Saturday against the Night Hawks to take a 36-13 lead at halftime.
To be sure the Night Hawks didn’t recover, however, Mehrer played his starters for the first few minutes in the third period, outscoring Silver Stage 12-4 before substituting underclassmen.
Summers again led with 12 points. Lowe and Chris and Danny Shapiro each had 10.
“Danny had the best game of the season so far,” Mehrer said. “I saw some things in Danny that I hadn’t seen in practice or in games before.”
Mehrer has been tinkering with Jones as the No. 1 guard, which allows him to mix up his wings more. He may continue shifting players in preparation for Independence and West Wendover this weekend.
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