The Fernley boys’ basketball team will be second seed in the Northern 3A state tournament this weekend after falling to Elko in the regional championship round Saturday.
Fernley travels to Las Vegas Friday for the state championship. They play the Desert Pines Jaguars at 4:15 p.m. in the Cox Pavilion.
Fernley’s semifinal game was close. Fernley and South Tahoe held a stalemate through most of the first quarter before the Vaqueros edged out with a basket, 20-18. In the second quarter, though, they burst ahead and swept the South Tahoe offense; the Vikings only managed a single point, closing the half 37-19.
However, South Tahoe came back in the second half. Fernley was held to 10 points in the third quarter with Tahoe nearly doubling it, 46-36. The final quarter was a flurry of play as both teams fought to get ahead. In the end, Fernley had a better offense-defense combination and closed the game with a 19-point lead.
Drake Howe led the Vaqueros with 20 points, followed by Zach Burns with 11.
Saturday’s championship round was hard-fought to the end. Elko started gaining a first-quarter lead, but Fernley pulled them back to a tie by the end of the quarter. In the second, the Indians started pulling ahead but Fernley kept on their heals to end the half 29-21, Elko.
The Vaqueros continued to harass Elko’s defense in the third quarter; both teams tried to maintain the status quo, but Howe sank a three-pointer at the buzzer to close the quarter 40-36. The final quarter saw Elko crush Fernley’s offense; the Indians pressed ahead and held Fernley to two free throws. The players flew across the court as the Vaqueros’ defense tried to hold Elko back. In the end, the Indians won with an 18-point lead, 59-41.
Burns also led Saturday with 11 points. Howe was close behind, tallying 10 and Ren Arroyo scored nine.