RIDING THE PINE: Hoops teams enter home stretch
January 24, 2014
With half the league slate down, the Fallon basketball teams sit in position to secure a pair of postseason berths.
The Lady Wave, after a rough start, have rebounded to win their last six games. Led by the torrent 3-point shooting of Gabby Sharpe and Ali Tedford, the girls have started to gel and enter a critical stretch to open the second half of league play.
Friday and Saturday the Lady Wave (and the boys) travel to Spring Creek and Elko. The girls are tied with Elko (7-1) for the top spot in the Northern Division I-A and must at least split to earn one of the top two seeds for the regional tournament.
Spring Creek is 6-1 in league, although results of their game against Lowry (4-3) were not available at press time.
While it is always difficult to travel east, Fallon must find a way to steal at least one victory. The Lady Wave dropped Spring Creek earlier in the season, but the Spartans also have ripped off six straight wins.
Bottling up their interior play will be key, as Spring Creek relies on its post play. But Fallon's interior offense and defense has improved during its win streak as Megan McCormick and Hannah Lindsay team up to form one of the top frontcourts in the league.
Their ability to induce fouls and open up the outside for Sharpe and Tedford will determine the team's road trip.
With Elko, Fallon aims to avenge an early-season loss to the Indians. Turnovers crippled the Lady Wave's ability to set up their offense, but the past six weeks has seen a reduction in giving up the ball and easy transition buckets.
A sweep would give Fallon a huge leg up in the final weeks of the season and likely see the Lady Wave enter the playoffs as the No. 1 seed. It's a big difference between opening the postseason against the No. 4 club versus a third matchup with the Spartans or Indians.
The boys, meanwhile, are finally back together as injuries and discipline sideline several players the past three weeks.
Brad Barton's club is a solid defensive bunch, but kinks on offense are still a work in progress.
The Greenwave sit in a tie for fifth-place, with close losses coming at the hands of South Tahoe and Dayton. Fallon must win those games on the back end to stay in contention.
Jeff Evett has led the way offensively, while Ryan Stockard has provided spurts but more offense is needed. The Wave must find steady compliments to Evett.
Fallon has the talent to earn a trip to the posteason, although they must at least split its road contests at Spring Creek and Elko.
The Wave drilled the Spartans in December, and there's no reason they cannot do it again. Elko, on the other hand, is tall taks.
The Indians are one of the best in clubs in the state in any division, so the pressure to get past Spring Creek is critical.
Steve Puterski is the sports editor for the Lahontan Valley News and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.