Chemistry is a critical component to a basketball team.
Although the Lady Wave are without a key cog, Fallon has time to discover how it will manage without senior guard Gabby Sharpe, who is out for the season with a broken foot.
The good news, though, is Fallon clinched its fourth consecutive playoff berth, which will allow the Lady Wave time to assimilate without Sharpe.
Fallon (10-4 league, 13-10 overall) will find out new holes and strengths today at 6 p.m. against Sparks (1-13, 1-18) and Saturday at 2 p.m. against South Tahoe (6-8, 7-14) at the Elmo Dericco Gym.
“We just, obviously, are working on not having Gabby,” Fallon coach Anne Smith said.
Smith said her club knows it will be different without one of their best players and perimeter shooters, but is confident in the ability to make up for Sharpe’s production.
It starts down low with forward Hannah Lindsay, who has the talent to bully through opposing frontcourts. Smith will also turn to the usual suspects such as Ali Tedford, Janelica Galera, Megan McCormick and Shelby Smith to step up.
Patricia Leggett is another who Anne Smith singled out as the sophomore has steadily improved throughout the season. As her confidence has grown, so has faith in her jump shot, which Anne Smith said will be necessary — as will it be with all perimeter players — to extend the defense.
“Everybody is going to have to do something to absorb her (Sharpe’s) loss,” Smith said. “The second team needs to step up.”
Motivation, meanwhile, is an adversary Smith said the club must fight as well. Having clinched and coupled with Sparks’ struggles to field a competitive team and South Tahoe being eliminated, Smith said the focus does not change.
“We are not shifting our focus,” she added. “Rebounding position, pushing the ball, open up our fast break and transition back to defense. We don’t relax and keep reminding the girls of our goal.”
A possible side effect of Sharpe’s injury is a compressed offense. While Sharpe plus Tedford were Fallon’s biggest outside threat, Smith said Galera, Leggett and Shelby Smith must fire away on the perimeter.
“We got to get more shooting from the outside off of screens,” Anne Smith said. “Our perimeter has to work to get open. Now we have to look for outside shots, but if the post is open, we will feed the post. We have some good shooters.”