The Churchill County Middle School boys’ basketball seventh graders fought hard this season, taking a second-place finish at Saturday’s league tournament in Dayton.
During the tournament, the team lost a close game to No. 3 seed, Dayton, 42-38.
Seventh-grade coach Bert Serrano said things were going smoothly, but Jace Nelson fouled out of the game; from there, things took a downward turn for the Greenwave, and they struggled to recover their momentum.
“It really hurt us bad,” Serrano said. “Between that and (Dayton’s) free throws, it allowed them to catch up on us.”
The coach said Dayton had 19 free throws to Fallon’s two. He said this made all the difference to the game’s outcome.
The season overall wasn’t bad for the seventh graders. Serrano said they had a winning record and had great parental support. There were some issues, though, which added to difficulties; Serrano said many players had grade problems, which disqualified them from playing. It wasn’t until the Dayton tournament that everyone was able to play at once.
“We never got the chance to really play as a whole team,” he said of their regular season.
Serrano said he is confident in the players’ futures in the sport. He said they are a good team and should be good additions for the eighth grade team, as long as they stay out of trouble with grades and miss games.
According to Serrano, many members of the team plan to continue playing basketball in the city league.
The eighth-grade team also lost after a close game against Dayton, 38-34. Eighth-grade coach Brian McAlexander said they played hard but came up short. He said it was a closer game compared to the other games against Dayton this season and they showed improvements from last year.
“We played with our highest level of intensity the last game of the year,” McAlexander said.
The eighth graders also ran into foul trouble during the tournament. Serrano said shooter Tyler Austin was fouled out and it hit the team hard.
“They got in the same boat we did, it just kills you” he said of losing a player.
Serrano also said the eighth-graders had some new players on the team, who did not have much experience. They were quality players, though, and contributed a lot to the team. He said their skills would improve if they kept playing and become great players.
With basketball over, Churchill County Middle School’s volleyball and wrestling seasons will begin after the new year.