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March 6, 2014
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Winter sports show Fallon's strength

Only three schools managed to finish in the top four of the northern region in all three winter sports.

One of them resides off South Taylor Street.

The Greenwave turned in another productive season that saw both basketball teams qualify for the four-team regional tournament and the wrestling squad finished as the second-best team in the state.

The headline of the latter part of the winter season focused on the wrestling team’s longtime coach, Mitch Overlie, who was slapped with a coaching suspension two days before the regional tournament. A testament to his influence on the Greenwave, the wrestling club came out to compete at the two-day postseason tournament, taking second behind Lowry.

Fast-forward to the following week and Fallon performed strongly in Primm as the Greenwave finished second, tying the school’s best finish at the state wrestling tournament. One of the many highlights to the big finish was Fallon crowned three state champs and all three will be back next year.

Although Overlie’s coaching future remains uncertain after he was not recommend to coach long-distance runners this spring, the Greenwave proved again that this program is built to succeed on and off the mat. Fallon will be back next season with more to prove and hopefully with its successful coach still at the helm.

While the Lady Wave seemed like a lock for the postseason since the league season began, their counterparts had a tougher time extending their season. The boys basketball team won on the final day of the regular season to make the playoffs, only to fall short in losing the opener, just like the girls.

Anne Smith’s girls were, though, was one of the more consistent teams this season as Fallon looked like it could snag a No. 2 seed at the halfway mark. But a costly trip to Elko County to begin the second half of the season dropped Fallon from a tie for first into third and eventually fourth after it lost to Lowry later.

The Lady Wave, though, is making it a habit of reaching the postseason but in time, Fallon will be able to find that missing piece in order to get over the hump and reach state for the first time since the original realignment almost five years ago. Luckily for Smith, she loses only three seniors as her underclass-dominant team gets older next year. Expect Fallon to be one of the favorites to win the regional title next season.

Brad Barton had a rocky first season with the boys basketball team when Fallon would show glimpses of being one of the best teams in the region and then revert to playing like one of the worst. Fallon spanked Sparks in the first half of the first meeting but the Railroaders came back and nearly pulled out an unforgettable upset. In the second meeting, Sparks exacted revenge and upset Fallon in the Greenwave gym.

Like the girls, though, Fallon loses just three seniors and with a year of experience, plus the with offseason workouts, Barton’s club could make a push for one of the top seeds in 2015.

Like the end of every season, the future continues to be bright for the Greenwave. This winter season only showed how close the basketball teams are from being one of the best in the region and the power of a coach’s influence on a wrestling program to make them achieve beyond their goals.

Thomas Ranson can be contacted at

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The Nevada Appeal Updated Mar 6, 2014 06:55PM Published Mar 6, 2014 06:55PM Copyright 2014 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.