In the chase for the top three, the Fallon boys basketball team is poised to strike.
The Greenwave host upstart Spring Creek at 7:30 p.m. today and powerhouse Elko at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.
A win over Spring Creek is today’s goal and an essential one for Fallon to avoid finishing fourth and likely playing Elko in the first round of the Northern Division I-A playoffs.
A loss to both teams and Fallon’s (5-3 league, 8-9 overall) quest to the postseason is an uphill climb with South Tahoe (5-3, 9-8) firmly on the Wave’s heels.
“We are right where we want to be with our goals,” Fallon coach Brad Barton said. “We have put ourselves in contention for one of those two, three (seeds) playoff spot.”
Spring Creek, meanwhile, has been on a roll after a 77-42 shellacking by Elko on Jan. 6. Since then, the Spartans have rattled off four consecutive wins including a 43-40 victory over Lowry.
But now Spring Creek must navigate an improved Fallon squad, which it beat 53-47 on Dec. 12.
The Wave has their own impressive streak as Fallon as won six of its last seven including a 21-point blowout over South Tahoe last week.
On the court, Fallon must contain Spartans guard Cade Gunnell, who averages 12.8 points, 2.1 assists and 1.5 steals. In the post, Spring Creek is led by Clint Rider’s 6.6 points per game and 6.2 rebounds, while Jordan Fonger adds 6.7 points and 4.9 boards.
“We got to come out strong again in both games,” Wave senior Jeff Evett said. “Both games are huge, especially against Spring Creek. We got to come out strong against them.”
Elko, though, presents a whole different challenge. The Indians are coming a state runner-up finish last season and return arguably the best player in the league, Nate Klekas.
He is pouring in 15.6 points per game (second in the league), 8.4 rebounds and two steals. Klekas is Elko’s go-to player, although the Indians also rely on Marshall Dumas (9.6 ppg, 2.9 assists), Erick Klekas (8.4 ppg) and Tim Meo (7.2 ppg).
Fallon, meanwhile, counters with Evett (15.7 ppg), Connor Richardson (7.7 ppg), Clay Davison (7.6 ppg) and the emergence of sophomore guard Dylan Ridenour (9.3 ppg).
Fallon’s defense is one of the best units in the league, but the Wave rolls when a balanced scoring attack comes to fruition. In their past four games, Fallon has had at least three players score in double figures, reducing the amount of attention drawn to Evett.
“We will have a good one against Spring Creek and Elko and prepare ourselves so we can stay on track,” Barton added.