A monster first quarter set the tone early against North Valleys with a battle for first place on the horizon.
The Lady Wave basketball team dumped 24 points in the first quarter – including 11 from senior Leilani Otuafi – as it cruised to a 64-38 road win on Saturday. Fallon (12-0) extended its league winning streak to 60 games and hosts a pair of Elko County schools this weekend. The Lady Wave host Elko (5-6) on Friday but then turns around on Saturday to take on second-place Spring Creek (10-1).
Senior Leta Otuafi led the team with 25 points, including 13 in the third, and senior Chandler McAlexander added seven.
In Fallon’s win over North Valleys, coach Anne Smith said the team’s shot selection was better, which led to the team hitting all four 3-point attempts in the first quarter. But Fallon still struggled underneath with little to non-contested shooting. Fallon missed several layups and put-back attempts.
“We’ve been talking about taking a shot but focusing on the right shot,” she said. “(The misses) are a lack of focus.”
On Thursday, Fallon broke open a tight game in the second half to down Truckee, 50-38.
Leilani Otuafi took control in the second half with her team leading by five at the break. She scored 10 of her 24 points in the final quarter to give Fallon the season sweep over the Wolverines. Leta Otuafi scored 13 points, including seven in the third quarter, and McAlexander added four.
It comes down to the little things. Smith said the offense is working on rebounding and limiting turnovers while the defensive lacks that urgency to lay it all on the floor, every time.
“There have been moments of greatness. We need more of these moments put together for all four quarters,” she said.
With last week’s trio of games against North Valleys, Truckee and South Tahoe, Smith rotated her lineup more frequently, getting the bench more minutes and experience.
“The problem is we have players who have been with us the whole time and some who haven’t,” Smith said of her diverse lineup, which has several players who were on last year’s state softball team. “We’re trying to mesh together, which is proving to be a challenge. Whether it’s softball or basketball, these girls know what it’s like to be a state champion.”
Her goal is have the entire lineup comfortable regardless of the situation, which will be tested again this weekend with Spring Creek. After this weekend, Fallon has four more games, including a pair of road contests at Lowry and Fernley.
“They don’t give up. They rebound really well, which is one area we need to improve on,” Smith said about Spring Creek. “We have to play at our best.”