What appeared to be a sure-fire win nearly turned into an epic collapse.
The Fallon boys basketball team held off Truckee in the final seconds Friday for a 47-44 Northern Division I-A win.
Leading 47-32 after Fallon’s Connor Richardson scored, the Wolverines went on a 12-0 run to close the game. Truckee’s Chase Vnakirk scored seven consecutive points to cut the lead to 47-41 with less than a minute remaining.
After a missed free throw by the Greenwave’s Ryan Stockard, Teagan Pado hit a 3 with less than 10 seconds left, but Fallon was able to inbound the ball and avoid a foul to earn the win.
“I was disappointed in how we played tonight,” Fallon coach Brad Barton said. “They didn’t show up. They were too worried about impressing the crowd.”
It was a roller-coaster ride for Fallon as the Wave opened with a 13-7 first-quarter lead. Leading the charge were Jeff Evett and Beau Marshall, as the duo each scored four points to give Fallon a slight cushion.
In the second quarter, however, Truckee made its run and took the lead with pressure defense and an aggressive offensive attack.
“Bottom line is our kids played flat and didn’t give their best effort,” Barton said. “Our goal is to play in the playoffs, but if we play like that our goal won’t be realized.”
Nick Oberriter scored five points during the run and Vankirk added a three-point play to give the Wolverines an 18-13 lead.
Fallon countered with four points from Evett and a bucket from Marshall to take a 19-18 halftime lead.
“We were short-handed,” Truckee coach Sky Nelson said. “We stayed out of foul trouble in the first half and kept it close. I thought the boys played hard.”
Fallon — led by Evett — turned up the offense in the third quarter as the 6-foot-5 junior opened the period with a dunk. Tristen Salazar and and Joe Pyle each added a pair of baskets and Richardson capped the 16-2 run with a 3.
After an Oberriter 3, Brandon Turner pushed the lead back to 15 (39-24) at the of third.
“If we make a few layups and make a few less turnovers, it could have been a different game,” Nelson said. “We came out flat in the second half.”
Truckee was without standout guard Louden Smith, who missed the game due to an undisclosed injury. The Wolverines, though, also lost to Lowry on Saturday.
As for Fallon, the Wave’s playoff chances are looking up. Fallon is 6-6 in the Northern DI-A and tied with South Tahoe. Only the top four teams reach the postseason.
Elko (12-0) is atop the standings followed by Lowry (11-1) and Spring Creek (8-4).
South Tahoe, meanwhile, hosted Dayton on Tuesday, while Fallon takes on the Dust Devils and Lowry on Friday and Saturday, respectively. The Vikings visit Fallon in the regular-season finale on Feb. 15.