Warriors run out of gas against West Wendover
Playing less than 15 hours after the conclusion of their previous game, the Whittell High Warriors didn’t need to chase a quick team on Saturday afternoon.
But that was their fate when the West Wendover Wolverines unleashed their transition game in the second half of a 55-44 Nevada 2A boys’ basketball victory in Zephyr Cove.
Independence edged the Warriors 62-60 Friday night, leaving the Warriors little time to get ready for the up-tempo Wolverines and talented senior point guard Kade Brown.
Brown scored 17 of his game-high 29 points in the second half, which started with Whittell in command 25-17.
When the Wolverines were forced to execute their half-court offense, Brown usually had an answer, and more often than not it came from downtown. The 5-foot-7 guard made five 3-pointers.
“The more we slowed it down, the better we played,” Brown said.
Early in the third period, Brown scored seven straight points to pull West Wendover within 28-27. But Whittell senior Jake Summers responded with a bucket, an assist on Matt Johnson’s layup and a 3-pointer as Whittell momentarily fended off the Wolverines, 35-30.
But the Wolverines weren’t rattled, even though they lost to Incline 46-44 the previous night. Although Brian Jones’ finger roll in the lane found the bottom of the net as time expired in the third period for a 37-35 Whittell lead, the Warriors were running near empty.
“For three quarters we did what we wanted,” said Whittell coach Brian Mehrer. “That fourth quarter, a couple of things factored in — fatigue, definitely and they were quick and we couldn’t keep up anymore.”
Brown’s well-executed trifecta started a 9-0 Wolverine run to begin the fourth period. Well-defended when he received the ball near the top of the key, Brown pump-faked his defender into the air, then dribbled to his right for a clear shot at the three.
Whittell never recovered despite several key shots by Summers. Summers’ rebound follow pulled Whittell within 44-39 and his 3-pointer made it 46-42 with 3 minutes, 40 seconds remaining, but a slew of turnovers kept the Warriors from inching closer.
“Back-to-back nights with fast teams can wear you out. All of us played a lot of minutes because we don’t have a deep team,” said Jones, one of eight Warriors in uniform. “We’re going to have to get in better shape, I guess. That’s the way basketball is.”
Summers led Whittell with 14 points, followed by Chris Shapiro with nine and Jones with eight.
Despite five Whittell players scoring in double figures on Friday night, the Warriors lost to Independence.
A spate of fourth-quarter turnovers and an ill-timed time-out slowed down a Warrior run late in the game. Summers buried a three to pull WHS within five, then stole the ball. However, a Warrior called a time-out the team didn’t have, bringing forth a technical foul and a swing in momentum.
Jones led the Warriors with 13 points, with plenty of scoring help from Nick Lowe with 12, Tom Esquivel and Danny Shapiro with 11 and Chris Shapiro with 10.
The Warriors are 2-3 in Nevada 2A play.
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