The Lady Wave basketball team took on all comers this weekend and sent two teams packing with a 63-24 win against Elko on Friday and a 51-15 win over Spring Creek on Saturday at home.
The Lady Indians sit at 11-4 overall and 9-3 in D1-A and the Lady Spartans are at 7-15 overall and 5-8.
Fallon remains undefeated, 24-0 overall and 15-0 in D1-A with one game left before they enter the playoffs.
The Lady Wave’s victory against Elko marked the first time the Lady Indians have lost to a running clock in 35 years as a D1-A team.
Fallon coach Anne Smith said these wins were owed to preparation, both in studying the film and learning from the first half of the season.
“We prepared for that game,” Smith said. “We studied film and did as much as we could in preparation for Elko. We worked hard to get ready for them just like Spring Creek. So once again, we knew they would throw a zone at us a little bit differently than Elko would so we worked on our zone, worked on attacking the gaps and looking for our posts. It worked. The girls did a good job.”
Against Elko, Leilani Otuafi led the Wave with 14 points, followed by Faith Cornmesser at 11 with Madison Perazzo and Megan McCormick tied with eight each. McCormick led the Lady Wave against Spring Creek the next day with 15 points, followed by Leilani Otuafi with 13, Leta Otuafi with 12, Kaitlyn Hunter and Cornmesser each had five and Zoey Swisher with one basket.
Elko coach Kaaren Ross said she was very impressed with Fallon, and their preparation definitely showed.
“One of the things I told my girls we really had to be careful of was Fallon’s inside game,” Ross said. “We knew they would focus on transitions and inside attacks that was exactly what they did.
“It was against a very good team and really my hat’s off to Fallon. They got very prepared and ready to play. One of the things I told my girls we really had to be careful of was their inside game. We knew that they would focus on transitions and inside attacks and that was exactly what they did. We got to the point where we have yet to have a game where we perform like this offensively and I telling my girls ‘Hey, you have to play and enjoy the game regardless of what the score is’ because we held it together mentally and emotionally. I think I could actually say all my players held it together in the face of Fallon’s game.”
With the playoffs around the corner for the Lady Indians as well, Ross said her goal is to maintain the No. 2 seed that Elko is at now, even with a tough schedule ahead with games against Fernley and Winnemucca, both tough teams that may threaten Elko’s seeding going in just like Fallon, whom Ross expects to see again in the playoffs.
“If you look at the book here, Fallon pretty much had everybody contribute on that team, which is nice for their coach,” Ross said, commending Smith. “As an opposing coach of course, not so nice, but still, a lot of respect for Fallon.”
Spring Creek’s coach Holly Miller said she struggled with Fallon’s inside game as well, and that she has a lot of respect for Fallon as a team.
“Fallon’s a dang good team,” Miller said. “Our goal today was to try to keep them out of the middle and make them shoot from the outside. I thought we did good on limiting the outside game but they hurt us still inside and it was a good game.”
Miller also said Fallon’s defensive pressure made the difference in their game, creating numerous turnovers that worked against the Lady Spartans since the Lady Wave generated their offense out of their defense.
“I anticipate more of the same effort from them,” Miller said of Fallon in the playoffs. “That’s a good team that I think anyone in the state is going to have a hard time trying to stop. We’ve got to play better composure. We’re struggling with the close games in our composure and we’ve really got to limit turnovers if we want to try to get further in the post season.”
Smith agreed with both coaches that her team’s defense was on point all weekend and that her players got a lot of good looks with the playoffs one game away.
“The girls did a great job. They executed, they worked the ball well, their defense was absolutely on point. To be able to hold them to 15 points is pretty impressive.”
Mechanically, Smith said her team hopes to repeat their defensive pressure moving forward.
“We still know we’ve got to stop Alicia Maron again,” Smith said of meeting Elko in the playoffs, “and I’m sure they’ll go full court and be a man defense again, so we’ll just have to take care of the same things. They’re a well coached team, so if we meet again, she’ll have her girls as prepared as I have mine.”