It wasn’t pretty, but the Lady Wave took a two-point victory over visiting Spring Creek Friday night in a Northern 3A game.
The Wave, though, withstood a strong challenge in the fourth quarter to escape with a 42-40 league win at the Elmo Dericco Gym. Fallon, which lost to Elko, 59-44, on Saturday for its first home loss, sits at 3-3 in league, 5-7 overall, and hosts South Tahoe on Tuesday and Dayton on Friday.
Spring Creek played the game shorthanded with only three varsity players suited up and the rest from the junior varsity after a number of girls broke team rules on their last road trip.
Nevertheless, first-year Fallon coach Kevin Wickware said Spring Creek had its top players in the game and was pleased with his team’s performance.
“They still had their two top players playing for them. It’s a good program. They don’t miss a beat” he said. “It was good to get that win, especially after our recent tournament. It was good to get a couple of wins in a row.”
In a game that saw numerous ties and lead changes, Fallon overcame a seven-point deficit with 3:20 left in the third quarter and steamrolled to knot the game at 30 on a 7-2 run.
Shaylee Coldwell’s basket to open the fourth quarter put Fallon on top 32-30, and the Wave never trailed until the end of the game. Fallon sunk 5 of 10 from the free-throw line, and Madison Whitaker launched a 3-pointer from the top of the key and a short running jumper from the right side.
The Spartans’ Payge Walz also made a 3-pointer and added a free throw in the final quarter, while teammate Taylor Brunson added 4 points. Walz and Kylee Dimick each score 12 points for Spring Creek, but Whitaker led all scorers with 15, which included a trio of 3-pointers. Makenzee Moretto added 12.
Spring Creek had enjoyed a 20-16 halftime lead over the Wave with Walz, Dimick and Brunson each scoring 4 points. After Fallon’s Karlee Hitchcock made four points in the first quarter, the Spartans’ defense shut her down until she made a free throw in the fourth quarter.
Both teams struggled with their turnovers. Spring Creek committed 21 turnovers, while the Wave lost the ball 17 times.
Less than 24 hours from the team’s biggest win of the year, inconsistencies plagued Fallon against Elko. The Lady Wave had a strong first half but couldn’t stop the Indians in the second half.
Hitchcock and Whitaker each led the team with 15 points and Moretto had eight.
“We played well in the first half,” Wickware said. “We didn’t adjust to what Elko changed and that let us into some of our inconsistences in the second half.”
Wickware constantly rotated players in and out of the second half to try to stop Elko on its runs.
“We’re able to sub a little more freely. Having that ability is one of the nice things I like about this team,” Wickware said. “We can sub a little more easily and get our players back in. There’s not a huge dropoff one through 12.”
Despite the loss, Wickware likes were the team is at. Fallon played well in the Bay Area tournament last month and Wickware said the team’s close to adjust to the speed of the game and clicking as a team.
“We started playing solid basketball. It is the lack of experience in building that consistency,” he said. “Once we get used to that, we’ll be in the right direction.
“We know we’re good enough to play with anybody and understanding our abilities and not rushing them. You start seeing it click a lot more.”
Steve Ranson contributed to this story.