A pair of tough losses was followed by a narrow victory as the Fallon girls basketball team went 1-2 at the High Sierra Winter Classic last week in Reno.
After an opening-season loss to Lassen (Calif.), the Lady Wave’s rematch with the California school nearly resulted in a win. Instead, Fallon couldn’t overcome an early 20-11 first quarter deficit and fell 47-44 on Thursday.
In its second game, a frustrating shooting performance dogged Fallon in a 33-17 loss to Division I foe Damonte Ranch, although the Lady Wave closed the tournament with a 42-39 victory over Galena.
“We put in a couple of new offenses, and only having one day of practice I felt they did really well,” Fallon coach Anne Smith said.
Fallon’s post play between Megan McCormick and varisty newcomer Maddison Perazzo delivered a fluid rhythm between the two and anchored the offense. In addition, guard Ali Tedford ran the offense effectively, although she didn’t have the points to show for her efforts.
Against Lassen, senior guard Maggie O’Flaherty tallied a team-high 14 points including a pair of 3-pointers, while McCormick added 13. Tedford chipped in with four, but no other player had more than three as Fallon dropped its second straight to the California school.
“The unfortunate thing is we let them get away in that first quarter and spent the rest of the time trying to catch up,” Smith said. “There wasn’t enough time to finish them off.”
The most frustrating game of the weekend, Smith added, was against Damonte Ranch. The fourth-year coach was pleased with her team’s play, but the shots just wouldn’t fall.
Tedford and Zoey Swisher ran the offense efficiently, the post was physical and the defense was on point. In the end, though, Fallon just couldn’t find its touch on the offensive end and the Mustangs pulled away for the win.
“It was a frustrating game,” Smith said. “Good shots were there from everybody … but it was if there was a lid (on the basket). Usually when you hold a team to 34 points, you get a ‘W.’ Offensively, we could not get anything to drop for us.”
Against Galena, the Lady Wave raced out to a 21-11 halftime lead thanks to the hot hand of McCormick. The junior forward poured in a team-high 18 points, while Perazzo added eight.
In the fourth quarter, Galena went to a full-court press and Fallon’s inability to handle the pressure let the Grizzlies back into the game.
“For some reason we couldn’t break it,” Smith said. “It was similar to what we saw against Lassen on Thursday and had no problem breaking. All of sudden, we couldn’t get past half court. Fortunately, we were far enough ahead.”
Moving forward, Smith said the focus will be on working the offense from the inside using McCormick and Perazzo to start the offense.
In addition, hitting the post in transition was a key element in Fallon’s success, Smith added.
Defensively, the full-court press will undergo a “major overhaul” and zone looks.
“I really liked how Perazzo and McCormick worked underneath together on man defense,” Smith said. “Tedford, although her points don’t show it, she causes chaos for the other team. Zoey Swisher at point (guard) did a great job … passed the ball and saw the court.”
Now, Fallon turns its attention to a weekend showdown on the road at Spring Creek (Friday) and Elko (Saturday).