Injury and insult.
It is what struck the Fallon girls basketball team Saturday.
First, sharpshooter Gabby Sharpe broke her foot, then the Lady Wave fell, 44-36, to Lowry in a Northern Division I-A matchup. The silver lining, however, is Fallon clinched its ticket to the postseason with a 52-28 win at Dayton on Friday.
Now, the Lady Wave host Sparks and South Tahoe Friday and Saturday and are playing for nothing more than seeding.
“It was agood win against Dayton,” Fallon coach Anne Smith said. “Against Lowry, we couldn’t make our free throws and got tired at the end. They stopped being sharp.”
No doubt Sharpe’s injury is a big one. The senior was the Lady Wave’s fourth leading scorer (7.3 points per game) and averaged 1.7 steals and 1.2 assists.
Sharpe’s absence, though, will be felt on the perimeter where she sank a team-high 33 3-pointers.
Despite her injury, Smith said it will be difficult to replace her production, but her club can still make a run to the state tournament.
“We cannot replace Gabby Sharpe,” she said. “What we can do as a team is absorb her (loss). We talked about stepping up. As far as leadership and experience, you can’t replace that.”
Fallon started strong against the Buckaroos as the Lady Wave rushed out to a 9-2 lead behind four points from Hannah Lindsay and three from Megan McCormick.
Lowry, though, kept its poise and cut Fallon’s lead to 20-18 at halftime.
Shelby McKinnon and Kylee McClelland spurred the Buckaroos as McKinnon tallied 13 points and McClelland added 12. Lowry’s best player, Alyssa Dendary missed the game with an injury.
But Fallon’s downfall, however, was its free throw shooting, or lack thereof. The Lady Wave hit 4 of 14 attempts, while Lowry hit 13 of 22.
Trailing 41-35 in the fourth quarter, Fallon Lindsay missed a pair, Janelica Galera missed the front-end of a one-and-one and Sharpe missed two.
McClelland took advantage and hit three attempts in the final minute to ice the game.
“I took away we need to get more subs in,” Smith said. “Try to get them more rest in the first half. The subs that come in have to step up and do their part. They can’t let the game slip away.”
Against Dayton, Fallon opened up a 12-4 lead at the end of the first quarter and cruised to a 25-13 halftime lead. Lindsay scored a team-high 16 points and grabbed six rebounds, while Patricia Leggett added 10 points.