A smothering defense and an improving offense will be tested today and tomorrow at the Elmo Dericco Gym.
The Fallon girls basketball team hosts Truckee at 6 p.m. today in the Lady Wave’s return to the Northern Division I-A slate. However, the girls dip back out of league play Saturday for a 2 p.m. tip-off against DI foe Douglas.
“We are really focusing on Truckee,” Fallon coach Anne Smith said.
Fallon (1-1 league, 4-5 overall) is coming off a 2-1 performance at the Elite Varsity Tournament in Reno, where Smith said she felt her club let one slip away in a 50-37 loss to McQueen.
Nevertheless, today’s matchup is critical for the Lady Wave to re-establish its presence in league play as Fallon begins in earnest its quest for a conference title.
“We saw Truckee play … they are quick,” Smith said. “We will have our hands full. It’s the tiny details … that will make us or break us.”
First on the list, though, is stopping Truckee’s Syndey Mock, who is leading the league in scoring with 18.5 points per game and steals with five.
Second up is Marcelle Renyaud, the Wolverines (0-1, 2-3) and league’s second-leading scorer at 12.5.
“She creates a lot of chaos,” Smith said of Mock. “She can drive to the basket. If you can do that and get us into foul trouble, we will be in trouble.”
Both teams come in with similar outputs as Fallon average 41.8 points per game, while the Wolverines score 44.3. Defensively, the Lady Wave allow 42.6 points per game and Truckee 40.5, although those numbers are off since at least three games have not been reported.
Smith said Truckee used a zone defense during the tournament in Reno last week, although the Wolverines may opt for a man-to-man or press.
To counter the zone set, Smith said her club must push the ball in transition, read the floor and feed the post anchored by Megan McCormick (9.5 ppg) and Madison Perazzo (5.8 rebounds per game).
On the perimeter, Fallon will rely on Ali Tedford (10.5 ppg, 3.0 steals), Maggie O’Flaherty (5.5 ppg) and Zoey Swisher. Kalyn Huckaby is not expected to play after suffering an injury.
“We have to control the boards,” Smith said.
On Saturday, Douglas comes calling and brings an 10-3 overall record and is 2-1 in the DI Sierra League. The Tigers, though, won two of four games at a tournament in San Diego this week, but stats were unavailable.
Nevertheless, Fallon must contain returning first-team All-Sierra players Leonna Mortimer (forward) and guard McKenna Kynett along with Corryne Millett.
Millett leads Douglas in scoring with 11.9 ppg, while Kynett adds 4.0 ppg and 2.3 steals. Mortimer averages 9.2 ppg and teams with Maddy Lowe (9.3 ppg), Kynett and Millet to form a powerful quartet.
“Eevrything’s going to have to be great to beat them,” Smith said. “They are a good ball team. They will probably be in a full-court press, (fall back) into man. We have to do the things we know we can do.”
Boys fall in tourney finale
The Fallon boys basketball team lost a 41-40 heartbreaker to Pleasant Valley (Calif.) on Wednesday at the Trojan Toss Up in Folsom, Calif.
The Wave drops to 2-8 overall and 0-2 in the Northern DI-A. Fallon opens its home slate today at 7:30 p.m. against Truckee and returns to action on Monday at 7 p.m. against Hug.